Middle school students celebrate the global village
FRISCO – The sound of more than 30 pounding drums filled the Summit Middle School gym Friday afternoon as students, teachers and parents joined a rousing drum circle under the basketball net during the school’s World Fest 2006.In other parts of the gym, visitors checked out interactive booths with international themes created and staffed by middle school students.One of the most popular displays focused on the southern African country of Swaziland. In addition to reading information about the country, visitors to the booth were given glue, brightly colored feathers and paper to make their own masks. Eighth-graders Daniel Hagy and Sarah Reichardt also included a game similar to skeeball, called “roll the dung to the dung beetles,” in their display,”They have dung beetles in Swaziland,” Daniel said, as he handed a contestant a ball. “But these are really just tennis balls.”Soft mounds of a flour, salt and water mixture covered the table of 8th-graders Hannah Barton’s and Victoria Strassler’s booth about Fiji. Visitors were invited to shape the material into creative objects.”Pottery is very important in Fiji,” Hannah said. “There’s also a whole lot of birdwatching there.” The booth also included a game that involved fishing for exotic birds.
Dancers collected at the Puerto Rican booth of 8th-graders Marisol Estrada and Loreli Salas, where a boom box played perreando music, which, the girls explained, “is a kind of Puerto Rican thing.” “It’s a different beat from here,” Loreli said. Neither girl hails from the Caribbean island, but Marisol confessed to an attraction to the culture.”We love the music,” she said.Other displays included a cardboard representation of the Berlin Wall which contestants attempted to knock down with tennis balls, a Costa Rican booth staffed by 6th-grader Shelby Steele where visitors could make boxes, color flags and eat orange pudding and a booth soliciting donations for Water for People, a nonprofit organization that helps provide water in undeveloped countries.”A lot of people are dying because they don’t have good water,” K.C. Morgan said, as she worked the crowd with classmates Allison Maginity and Katie Shell.Next door, in the school cafeteria, several area restaurants provided a buffet and energetic attendees danced to the lively music of Mariachi Vasquez.The event, both a charity fundraiser and a learning experience for middle school students, was conceived as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) humanities curriculum.”It serves the dual purpose of bringing kids together and highlighting international diversity,” event organizer and IB Middle Years Programme coordinator Julie Fishman said. Fishman expressed her approval as swarms of students drummed, danced, laughed, rolled the dung to the dung beetles, made masks, tried to knock down the Berlin Wall and did the limbo.”The students have been so enthusiastic,” she said with a smile.
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