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Passport To The World

New Salem Elementary School held its’ international festival on Friday, March 16, 2012 with the theme of “Passport ToThe World”. This event allowed students to travel to various countries of the world by participating in a variety of activities. To document their “travels”, each student recorded facts and placed a sticker of the flag of the visited country on individual passports. Students engaged in integrated lessons in reading, math, science or social studies where teachers taught the regular curriculum while incorporating cultural facts. Each grade level participated in recess games played in other countries. In addition, students created cultural artifacts from countries of focus. The cafeteria hosted an international buffet for students and staff featuring cheese quesadillas (Mexico), Egg Rolls (China), Pizza (Italy) and Hot Dogs (USA).
One highlight of the day was when students shared their international travels with other students using pictures and other artifacts. These student-to-student sessions were developed through a partnership between New Salem and Unionville Elementary Schools. Six students who have lived in another country or have extensive international travel experiences developed presentations to share at both schools. Unionville students included Jacob Starnes and Mia Knight (China) and Wyatt Brown (Germany). New Salem students included Alex Gaura (New Zealand) and Sarah Warren (Swaziland). Each student had the chance to share their travel experience with five different student groups.
The day ended with a closing assembly program where students sang songs they had learned in their music class including, “When the Lights All Shine”. This song speaks of candles being lit one by one in countries all over the world until the lights all shine as one and the journey to peace has begun. Keynote speaker for the assembly was Mrs. Sharyn VonCannon, principal of Unionville Elementary School. Mrs. VonCannon shared of her travels to the Dominican Republic where she assisted in building a school in an impoverished location. Her message to students was to always be thankful for what you have no matter how difficult things may seem.
The New Salem Staff Drama Team treated students to a delightful performance as they shared tooth fairy traditions from around the world. Through this skit, students learned what happens to boys and girls around the world when they lose a tooth.
This annual event is part of New Salem Elementary’s ongoing emphasis on globalization. The school has been recognized by Union County Public Schools as a leader in this district-wide initiative for the past two years. Through events such as the international festival, New Salem Elementary hopes to promote global literacy by encouraging communication, acceptance, understanding, and collaboration in a diverse, interdependent world.

Written by: Neil Hawkins, Principal
Posted: Mar 20, 2012 by Gina James

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