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Culture and National World Language Week at Floral Park

Floral Park Memorial celebrated Culture Week and National World Language Week from March 13-17. Each day was dedicated to different activities that honored and embraced the school’s diversity.

On Monday, all of the students were encouraged to wear the colors of the language they currently study or previously studied by wearing: red and yellow (Spanish); red and blue (French); or green, white and red (Italian). Tuesday was dedicated to providing service to the internal community where members from the PEARLS (Women’s Leadership Club) and other student volunteers helped out in some of the special education classes and interacted with foreign students in the English as a New Language classes. On Wednesday, which was postponed to a further date due to the snowstorm, students provided service to the external community. Some members of the PEARLS club, led by Dr. Cheryl St. John and Ms. Keisha Mickens, went to Anna House at Belmont Park to read stories to children. On Thursday, it was International Dress Day, where students were encouraged to wear the traditional dress from the culture that best represents them. Friday was St. Patrick’s Day, and all students wore green and sang along to the cultural songs that were played over the loudspeaker between periods.  

Throughout the week, students who spoke a language other than English were asked to read an inspirational quote in their language over the loudspeaker. Italian teacher Ms. Alicia Curto hosted two Latin dance classes where she taught students the steps of salsa and merengue. In addition, students in Ms. Gina D’Ammassa’s level 4 class recreated Pablo Picasso’s painting of Guernica, students in Ms. Lavinia Adler’s class wrote legends based on the story of Huiñaj and Ms. Catherine DeMarco’s seventh- and ninth-grade classes recited famous poems by Spanish poets. Seventh- and eighth-grade students in Mr. John Christianson participated in a Spanish tongue-twister contest and Ms. Norka Delgado’s eighth-grade grade class watched “Almost a Woman,” while several of her Spanish students played and sang a Spanish song to the class.

Ms. Tracie Libonati, accompanied by Mr. Christianson, brought her AP Italian students to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and then had lunch at a Neapolitan pizzeria and Ms. Dourayeb BenMoussa had her seventh-grade students take part in a French spelling bee. Ms. Veronica Powers-Scollo’s students mapped out the route that Che Guevara took from Argentina to Venezuela in “The Motorcycle Diaries” and Ms. Tiffany Salcedo’s seventh-grade students made mini piñatas.

The World Language Department asked faculty and staff members of the school to complete a survey of countries that they have visited and/or lived in. At the end of the week, students went on a scavenger hunt to find out which one of their teachers has had firsthand experiences with different cultures. It was such a great week!