"Celebration of Nations" Shows True Collaboration Hopewell Communities Share Food, Facts, Fun

"Celebration of Nations" Shows True Collaboration Hopewell Communities Share Food, Facts, Fun
 "Celebration of Nations" Shows True Collaboration Hopewell Communities Share Food, Facts, Fun
The atmosphere was one of festivity, unity and joy as Hopewell Junior and Hopewell Elementary combined to host their first annual Celebration of Nations Wednesday night. Families, staff, parents and students gathered to share food, facts and fun as they appreciated a range of diverse backgrounds in their community.

“This, quite possibly, was the most exciting event that I have attended in Lakota,” said Board of Education member Ray Murray. “It was so much fun to see the exhibits that the kids made and to see how much fun they had in sharing their stories with others. There were students from countries in the Asian, African, European, and North and South American counties. It was truly fascinating!”

Hopewell Elementary Principal Christina French agreed, “Our district records indicate our students and families speak 33 languages other than English. Between our two schools, we had 45 different tables hosted by a student or a student and family representing 34 different countries. An additional 18 countries were represented by student artwork, local businesses and performances. It is time that we celebrate this and take the opportunity to learn more about one another’s heritage, as we continue to embrace a spirit of unity.”

The event, which was open to the community, was a way for the two schools to share about the heritage of our community through food, dance, artwork, crafts, live performances and demonstrations. “It was an honor to have so many of our different cultures merge together in the Hopewell Junior gymnasium to celebrate and share.  The food was amazing, the learning of new cultures was incredible, and I was impressed at all of the wonderful talents our families and community have to offer,” said Jeff Rouff, Hopewell Junior principal. 

The event is just one example of Lakota's expanded community outreach programs with the goal of building greater parent and community engagement to benefit student learning and growth.
Angie Brown, who is assisting Lakota with such initiatives, stated, “Research shows that such engagement is one of the most important factors to student success. Community involvement in the schools certainly sends the message that school is important and the work children do is worthy of adult attention. By working together, Hopewell Elementary and Hopewell Junior not only shared resources but they also had an even stronger palette of multicultural families to represent a larger sample of countries around the world.”

Participants in this week's Celebration of Nations gathered to share food, facts and fun. Families from Hopewell Elementary and Hopewell Junior School, as well as the general community, participated in the event which featured displays
of more than 34 countries.