By Seher Khanna, Admissions & Multicultural Coordinator
& Melissa Guarnaccia, Guidance Counselor
The Charlotte Prep community came together to celebrate Holidays Around the World on Wednesday, December 13. Integrating with the BUDEE program, all of our students from TK to eighth grade participated in various activities centered on Holi, Christmas, Hanukkah, Lunar New Year, and Dias de Los Muertos.
Our goal with Holidays Around the World is for students to understand the historical origin of each holiday and become familiar with the essence of the holiday and why it is celebrated. While coming up with our lesson plan for Holidays Around the World, we were intentional in separating the intrinsic ideology of the holiday from the physical or traditional way in which it is marked. Both are important, and we wanted to ensure both are addressed.
For example, when second and seventh graders learned about Holi, a Hindu spring festival, BUDEE pairs talked about things they see around them that are negative influences in the world – things we all may be better without. For those who celebrate Holi, this holiday marks the disposal of physical and mental elements that no longer serve us by putting them in a bonfire. Students discussed things like pollution, disease, and war. They then wrote these attributes out and built a paper fire into which they will throw them during Holidays Around the World.
Similarly, with Christmas and Hanukkah, we wanted to share the historical stories behind why these holidays are celebrated. Students in first and fifth grades took a step back from Santa Claus, and Christmas presents to remember the story of the birth of Christ. They will present this Christmas story to the school next week. Kindergarten and sixth graders looked beyond the dreidel song to learn about and reenact the first Hanukkah.
Our TK students worked with their third-grade buddies to learn the story of the demon Nian and the Lunar New Year. Together, they built red hand drums and small paper fires to scare away the bad luck and usher in the Lunar New Year with all the different animal horoscopes it brings.
Our fourth and eighth-grade BUDEE pairs built Mexican altars, learning about Dias de Los Muertos and why it is so important for Mexican families to celebrate family and friends who have passed.
We hope this has been a positive experience for your children. As always, our goal as a community is to build empathetic leaders who are poised to succeed in a global world. The first step is understanding. If you have a special holiday you would like to see us celebrate in the future, please let us know.