LITTLE SILVER: On Monday, March 20, second grade students at Point Road Elementary School traveled around the globe and visited 16 countries, complete with passports.
Thanks to parent volunteers and the Little Silver PTO, the students had this experience without leaving their classrooms - which were transformed with flags, decorations and artifacts from around the world. "Around the World Day" was organized by Maria Nakleh and Lydia Jain, who have children in the school and wanted families in Little Silver to learn more about each other's ethnic backgrounds. They formed a committee of almost 20 parents who were eager to share their heritage or information about a country they visited, and by the time the event arrived had created a day that taught our students just how diverse we really are.
Each country was represented on a trifold board and focused on information like the country's geography, flag, languages and religions, popular foods,and what a day in the life of a child there is like. Students were also invited to touch artifacts from the countries, like Peruvian dolls, a Lebanese guitar and Greek worry beads. In some countries students made crafts, like German coo-coo clocks, Mexican sun dials, South African masks, and lanterns in Singapore. And in each country, students had their passports stamped and received something to put in their "suitcase" to bring home and show their families.
The day coincided with a recent second grade art project of Ancestry Dolls. Students were given blank paper dolls and decorated them to represent their heritage, and the dolls were displayed in the classrooms during "Around the World Day." Students made connections between their own ancestry and some of the countries and cultures they were learning about. This special event was a meaningful experience, not only teaching the students about other countries, but about respecting our differences and appreciating one another.