This is Tallmadge’s second year with the program, which brings four to six international speakers to 6th grade classrooms and matches the speakers with a teacher’s needs in social studies and foreign languages. It also dovetales with the Ohio Department of Education’s Core Curriculum and the push for 21st Century Thinking Skills.
First, Juan Edurado Contereas, an adjunct professor at several local and state colleges, told the students about Mexico’s Christmas traditions and the origins of the tradition of “La Posada”, a pre-Christmas celebration in which everyone in the neighborhood takes part. It is a recreation of the search for shelter by Mary and Joseph leading up to Christ’s birth. The couple goes from home to home asking for shelter through song, and each home returns the answer in a song. The poinsettias are an important part of the Christmas celebration and are originally from Mexico.
The students also got to hear from Nassim Mir, a speaker who grew up in Iran and moved to the United States. The speaker discussed Iran and its connection to the Persian Empire, as well as some of the significant landforms, such as the Caspian Sea. She told students about the Persian New Year “Norooz” and the day of light, called “Yalda.” Nassim also discussed the traditional foods and table setting for these celebrations.
After the first two speakers, Michelle Wilson spoke about the 1,000 Crane Peace Project and how KYCKYW, along with SCOPE Academy, Akron International Friendship and various other schools and volunteers, are making 1,000 cranes to send wishes of hope and peace to places like Syria.
Wilson then taught all the students how to make an origami crane. She and KYCKYW will make several more return trips to Tallmadge Middle School in the coming weeks to make the cranes.
If you would like to know more about Know Your community – Know Your World or any of the projects mentioned or if you want to help with the 1,000 Cranes of Peace, please visit know-your-world.org or email [email protected] for more information.