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Piedmont Celebrates International Week 2014

“Hola”, “Ciao”, “Bonjour”, “Guten Tag”! Hello from countries all around the world as students at Piedmont once again are participating in International Week 2014 from March 31-April 4. The school is a buzz with activities including a door/building decorating contest, Travelin’ Tuesday activities, Lunch Around the World in the cafeteria, and the 2nd Annual International Festival to be held at Unionville Elementary on Thursday, April 3rd from 6:30 – 8:00.

Globalization is a focus area for all students in Union County Public Schools. Last year, Piedmont High School was designated as an International School for their implementation of a comprehensive global awareness program. In addition to the designation, Piedmont also has two Global Teachers this year, Angela Medlin and Marianna Oprea, who serve as leaders and liaisons for the staff. In addition to global teachers, several students will be highlighted on Travelin’ Tuesday on the broadcast as they speak about their experiences travelling and living abroad. One such student is Garrett Griffin, who lived for four years in Iwakuni, Japan with his family while his father was serving in the United States Marine Corps. When asked about his most memorable cultural experiences in Japan, Griffin replied, “In Iwakuni, they had really famous bridges that were sacred to the religion of Shinto. Every year, in an event similar to the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, there would be a major influx of tourists who would come for this religious experience during the summer. It was during this event that we were primarily exposed to the religion and culture of the Japanese natives.”

Another Piedmont student who has traveled abroad is freshman Jane Radke. In summer 2013, Radke travelled to the Amazon jungle as part of an Ecoteach study trip.  While in the jungle, she learned to take accurate temperature readings with digital button thermometers in the jungle canopy- 500 feet above the forest floor, and practiced the living skills of the Yagua tribe; including making pottery, weaving palm fronds into roofing thatch, making palm twine and shooting a blowgun. She also assisted in helping to repaint a school that was damaged by flooding. According to Radke, “The experience in the Amazon jungle was my first time out of the United States. I caught and ate piranha, and learned amazing things in the jungle canopy; such as how to recognize toucans and monkeys by their calls in the morning mist. I learned that animals will come to you out of curiosity- but will run if you approach them. The best method is just to sit still and be patient. But the best thing about the experience was the people. They were so kind and welcoming. I realized then I needed to learn Spanish. My mom had to translate for me."  She has further been accepted into the 2014 NC Zoo Veterinary Camp, which is for students wanting to explore a career in veterinary medicine. During this camp, participants will be exposed to the veterinary center’s treatment rooms, X-ray and lab facilities, and obtain hands-on experiences using endoscopes, microscopes, and other equipment. In addition, Radke and fellow campers will learn how to safely handle several specials of animals and to give physical exams to dogs.

Everyone in the Piedmont community is invited to come out to Unionville Elementary on Thursday, April 3rd at 6:30 p.m. to join in the International Festival activities. There will be cultural displays, cuisine, and activities with a global flare!

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Mar 31, 2014 by Donna Helms

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