Tales from Lower School
Celebrating the Holidays as a School Community
It’s a festive time of year at Little Calhoun, when children in all classes come together to celebrate the holidays. Whether it’s Diwali or Chinese New Year, recognizing a holiday at Calhoun is not only a time to build school community, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about diverse cultural traditions.
“A celebration is a first introduction to the diversity surrounding us: within our own families, other families, our school community, and ever broadening circles in our world community,” says 3’s teacher Diane Ryan.
Take a look at a few of the ways our Lower School students are celebrating the holidays:
By Christy Kong, 3’s Head Teacher
Preschool children have been very busy decorating the classroom for the upcoming holidays, and one of our families even brought in a Christmas tree. It is now adorned with ornaments that the children created at the art table. They made beaded candy canes, which gave them the opportunity to both strengthen fine motor skills and practice pattern making, and made reindeer hats!
In theater movement class, we celebrated with holiday music that we sang along to while playing bells and maracas. We even made it snow inside the theater with white feathers!
By Richard Amelius, Kindergarten teacher
In our kindergarten class, students and families led us in a special celebration of Hanukkah. With the help of parent and neighbor volunteers, we fried up a big batch of latkes that we enjoyed as a delicious snack with applesauce. One of our students brought in a book called Dinosaur on Hanukkah that we read together. After the story, he showed us a menorah he had made and lit candles. We ended our morning with an introduction to the dreidel game and a Hanukkah song.
By Giovanni Pucci, 2nd grade teacher
One of our families led us in a joyous celebration of Kwanzaa, full of music, song and dance. The second grade class took the stage behind their drums and played a piece called “Let’s Celebrate Kwanzaa.” Even [facilities manager] Eddie got into the drumming act! We learned that Kwanzaa is a holiday of new beginnings and hope that began in 1966 as a way for African Americans to celebrate their African heritage. After learning about this rich history, we danced to a song called “Ara Mi Le,” a Nigerian song that means “with my whole self be well.” We ended the assembly united in celebration.
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