Laurel area students present customs from around the world

By Rebecca J. Davis
To celebrate the holiday season, the third grade classes of North Laurel Elementary held their "Holiday Customs Around the World" event last week. The event consisted of the schools eight third grade classes performing small skits and songs about their chosen country.
Principal Brian Swain stated, "The school's mission is to prepare the students for the global market. We want the students to recognize different cultures, open their eyes to new experiences [and] have fun while learning." The countries included in the event were England, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States.
England's Christmas was performed by Mrs. Matthews' and Mr. Todd's class. The class sang "Deck the Halls" and "Here We Come A-Wassailing." According to the children, wassailing means to be in good health and that children in England leave water for Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Christmas in Germany was shown by Mrs. Callaway's class. The students sang "Oh Christmas Tree" and enlightened the audience on a few of Germany's Christmas customs.
The students of Mrs. Williams' class sang "Gloria" and "Noel" and explained the Christmas customs of France, while Mrs. Thien's class focused on Israel's Hanukkah and sang "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah."

They also performed a skit about lighting the menorah and the use of the dreidel.
Italy's Christmas was shown by Mrs. Gina Voges' class. The students showed the Christmas customs of Italy and sang "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." They also sang "Go in Peace" in both English and Italian.
Christmas in Mexico was explained by Mrs. Pianka's class. The students told the audience how, in Mexico, the three kings deliver the gifts as opposed to Santa Claus. The students also sang a piata song.
The Chinese New Year was celebrated by Mrs. Whaley's class with a large dragon puppet made of paper and cardboard. They also sang a rendition of "Chinese New Year is Here Again."
Christmas in the United States was explained by Mrs. Eskridge's class. The students performed short skits about Santa Claus and sang "Up on the Housetop."
The program was concluded by all the third grade classes singing "It's a Small World After All" and all of the presentations were met with great applause.
"It's a nice program and cool event," Laurel School Board President Patrick Vanderslice said.
The general consensus from the third graders was that the event was "really exciting" and that the two months of work the classes had put into the event was "worth it."

News tips wanted
Call us with ideas for news and features. We're always looking for good stories to share with readers. Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.