One School, Many Cultures

One School, Many Cultures photo
Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School students honored the diversity within the school, community and world during the annual Heritage Night on Feb. 28. This event, coordinated by World Languages Department Head Haydee O’Connor, highlighted 23 countries and religions through international posters and displays, informational exhibits, traditional clothing, artifacts, dance, song, poetry and authentic food, all courtesy of students in honor of their own heritages. 

Many students celebrated the array of cultures through performances. Highlights included presentations from the Memorial Tango Strings, treble choir and guitar and drum ensemble, as well as individual and group showcases of a Japanese folk dance, Soca dance, “Ma Teodora: Cuban Folk Song,” Indian Folk Dances and Bachata and Merengue choreography. 

Attendees had the opportunity to explore countries near and far in Memorial’s gymnasium as they visited tables featuring specific regions. They also had the opportunity to participate in origami, Japanese calligraphy and flag coloring activities and get henna tattoos. 

Heritage Night was part of Memorial’s Foreign Language Week, which took place from Feb. 25-March 1. Language is a valuable component of the Valley Stream Central High School District’s educational program and is emphasized at all four schools. Central, North and South high schools celebrate similar Foreign Language Week events each year.