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Flags hung from the hallways and many classroom doors were decorated with pictures, maps, and symbols of a variety of holidays and countries to be toured by students. By mid-morning on Friday, before spring break, scents of homemade food from all around the world filled the halls of the Middle School and our PTO mothers scattered about making sure all of our students would be able to sample an assortment of traditional meals and desserts that represent the ethnic backgrounds of our school community. After gathering for prayer in the gym, students lined the tables to pile their plates with Asian, Mexican, Spanish, German, Polish and other countries’ foods. Some students were willing to try out anything while others stuck to the foods that they were familiar with. No matter what food is preferred there was plenty options and many students enjoyed second and third helpings!
With full stomachs, the students spent the next 90 minutes of the afternoon on a whirlwind trip where they traveled to four different countries and learned some general facts, listened to music, and celebrated a holiday by participating in an activity that may be custom to that particular country. Students celebrated the Chinese New Year and received “gold” coins while practicing their chopstick skills. While in Mexico, they took a swing at a piñata, played mancala in Kenya, and had a Purim party in Israel with traditional dancing. To wrap up the day of traveling, students ended up back in teams of four where they competed in a trivia game that tested all of their knowledge from the day and the winning team received a bag of international treats.
We are thankful to Lynda Vincenti and the PTO for all of the planning that goes into an afternoon like this along with the parents who kindly cooked and baked that delicious food for us to sample! It is a blessing to be able to take time from our regular routines and celebrate the diversity of our school community. While we may never actually get to visit these countries in our lifetimes, it was a great way to celebrate the cultures and people in a diverse selection of countries from God’s world.