Emily Miller, an energetic elementary schoolteacher in Des Moines, loves to sing. So one recent morning, after her first-graders put away their backpacks and sharpen their pencils, she sits them in a semicircle and sings a variation of a song she learned growing up Catholic in southwest Iowa.
“Allah told Noah, there’s gonna be a floodie, floodie!” the 22-year-old sings. The children join in. “Allah told Noah, there’s gonna be a floodie, floodie! Get those animals out of the muddie, muddie! Children of Allah.”
It’s a typical morning at New Horizons Academy, a private day care and school at the Islamic Center of Des Moines. But for Miller and Jennifer DeMuynck, classes here are like nothing they’ve experienced before.