|The International Festival is a fun and creative way to teach elementary school kids about different countries and various cultures. “They started getting more excited once they realized that they were going to have a good time,” said art teacher and coordinator of the event, Andrea Raines. As the day progressed, one could see the kids begin to open up and become more comfortable.
A lot takes place in the construction and planning of the International Festival. The volunteers start weeks in advance. Raines commented on student drive during this time, “The most exciting part of planning the festival was seeing high school students explore their hidden talents. You never really know what kids are good at until you see them accomplish it.” Students have the opportunity to share their talents, try new things, and connect with the children.
Not only is the International Festival a learning experience for the elementary school students, but it is also a learning experience for the high school students involved. “They had to learn where Trinidad was and they had to learn what Calypso music was in order for them to perform the music,” said band director Erin Haley. Students also had the opportunity to dress up, based on the country they were assigned.
The International Festival is an all day event that takes weeks of planning, but it was definitely a success. “We actually overbooked ourselves. Our goal was 350 students and 364 participated in this year’s festival,” Raines stated. The festival was an experience that all the kids should be able to attend. Seeing their faces light up with excitement definitely warms one’s heart. The festival of 2016 was definitely one for the books. Starmount hopes for the 2017 festival to be just as productive and fun!
Katelyn Saner is a member of the SHS Journalism Club.