WILDWOOD – Students and their parents went to the Glenwood Avenue School, Dec. 19, for “Holidays Around the Word,” an event designed to teach about Christmas and other holidays celebrated around the world.
Decorated bulletin boards welcomed visitors, expressing holiday greetings, such as using a line from the well known Christmas song, “White Christmas.” Another bulletin board used photos of students as residents of Whoville, which is a tribute to Dr. Seuss’ well-known Christmas story, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”
Jenn Bolling, the Parental Involvement Coordinator at the Glenwood School, said students were invited with their parents to attend the event. The students would begin the program by picking up their “passport,” which would be stamped at stations representing countries around the world, including the United States, England, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Israel, and China, to learn about holiday customs. Stamps in the passports could be redeemed for books.
At USA, for example, the students were making their own Christmas cards. Next door, at the United Kingdom station, students were decorating Christmas stockings. The USA and UK share many Christmas traditions, but Basic Skills teacher Brittany Hennessy told the kids the UK also celebrates “Boxing Day” after Christmas. It’s a day when workers are generally given gifts by people who use their services.
At the Germany station, special education teacher Alysha Guarini showed students how to use gingerbread dough to make holiday ornaments, which are popular in Germany. The German version of Santa Claus wears brown, not red. At the Russia station, teacher’s aide Dina Harris, originally from Russia, told students about the “matryoshka dolls,’ or stacking dolls, which she said has become a symbol of Russia.
Not all families around the world, or even in this country, celebrate Christmas. Bolling explained the dreidel, used in a game played by Jewish children faith when celebrating Hanukkah. Books with a Hanukkah theme were available for students wishing to redeem credits they earned, as were Spanish language storybooks. A Chinese New Year game called “yut” was also available to students and their parents to try.
Banners announcing “Feliz Navidad” or “Happy Kwanzaa” also adorned the multipurpose room for “Holidays Around the World.”