Saturday, May 16, 2009

International Day

This past Friday, we organized an "International Day" at school. Of all the special events we've had this year, this one was by far the easiest to plan and the most fun to be a part of. A few weeks ago, I announced it to the parents and had them send me an email letting me know which country their child would represent. Since we have a very diverse and multi-cultural group, we had lots of different countries represented: Greece, Armenia, Aruba, Holland, Costa Rica, Colombia, India, and England.

The parents were to help the children learn a short song/poem/or dance from that country. They did a really wonderful job preparing the children for their short presentation.

Every parent was also responsible to bring a small dish to share at school on International Day. We had a multi-cultural spread like I've never seen on the island. Delicious home made ethnic dishes! Teachers brought foods as well.

During the past weeks we've been coloring flags, labeling objects and working lots with the puzzle maps preparing for the event. Our special interest table became the flag coloring table. We gradually strung up all the flags around the room as decorations for International Day.

Children who can write prepared the labels to go alongside the foods from the different countries. The children also made small flags and taped saftey pins on the back to give to their parents to wear during the celebration.

During the morning of Friday, we prepared our room by moving shelves, setting tables with flowers and eating utensils. Parents arrived at 12:00.

Some of the children wore their international clothes all day, and others were helped into their dresses by their parents when they arrived.

When all the children were ready, we introduced each of them in a mini parade of nations with their National Anthems. All the children lined up at the far end of the room and they looked so sweet in their traditional clothing! Then we sang "It's a Small World After All" together (there are better songs but time creeped up on us quickly- "This Pretty Planet" by Tom Chapin, or "Hello, Bonjour" would have been better choices-- oh well, next year). And after that each child presented their song/poem/dance. Parents loved it. I loved it.

When the presentation was over, I invited the children to wash their hands and serve themselves lunch. The foods were wonderful!

It is the first event at school that we've had where I was able to step back fully and enjoy the moment as it was happening instead of frantically making sure everything is going smoothly. Favorite day of the year, hands down.

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