BY KARISSA MILLER
Cloverleaf Elementary students and their families learned about different ways people celebrate the holidays across the globe during the school’s annual Winter Around the World event on Thursday.
“We’ve had a great turnout tonight. We have had a lot of families and groups that have come through,” said Assistant Principal Sally Schultz. “We hope that each year that the kids get excited for the next year.”
“Our goal is to continue building strong relationships with our families and communities. We want to make sure everyone feels included and welcome at Cloverleaf,” she added.
Each grade level featured two continents for visitors to experience. There are also crafts and hands-on activities for each continent.
Oakwood International Baccalaureate middle school students were also on hand to help out with activities and give tours.
Oakwood students Lucy Caudill and Aubrey Mehall said that Cloverleaf students spent a lot of time researching winter traditions to create the displays and artwork in the hallways.
Lucy, who attended Cloverleaf, described Winter Around the World as a fun experience. She mentioned that the teachers use holiday string lights and soft lighting in their decorations to give families the experience of stepping into somewhere new and inviting.
Aubrey explained that each time a student visits a new place they receive a stamp on their passport. If they visit all of the stations then they can turn in their passport for a prize at the end.
Students and their families visited places like Africa, New Zealand and learned about what Christmas and the holidays are like in other countries around the world. Stations featured facts, art work, music and multimedia designed by students.
Teachers spoke as tour guides and led the students in hands-on activities that exposed them to the varying holiday traditions, such as coloring an ornament or putting together a snow globe.
Teachers say that learning about holidays and traditions worldwide is a valuable experience and can foster empathy and a global mindset.
Cloverleaf is an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) school that offers inquiry-based and student- centered curriculum with the goal of having every student be a life-long learner.