How do you travel the world in just three hours?
It's an easy feat at the Parent Community Association (PCA)’s Second Annual International Day! Parents, students, and faculty transformed the Great Hall from a dining room into six continents. The event brought together students, parents, and teachers to celebrate the culture of nations from around the world.
“The goal of International Day is to enrich the sense of community and connection that already exists among BASIS Independent McLean families,” says Katie Kaufman, PCA Secretary and Special Events Coordinator. “There is a natural camaraderie that develops from going through the rigorous and exciting curriculum together, but there is more that connects us than just academics, like respect for learning more about each other and our shared interests. When students and their families feel connected, the school community gets stronger.”
International Day began with a parade of 22 international flags carried by students and families from all divisions. Then students, parents, and faculty traveled the world by visiting country tables that families prepared. Eleven different countries were represented through traditional food, dress, artifacts, and presentations. Countries included Australia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. In some cases, these were families' countries of origin, but several were simply places of interest to students and families.
Students in grades 5 and up helped host the event. They welcomed incoming visitors and organized the flag parade, as well as set up prior to the event and cleaned up afterword. PreK–grade 4 students collected passport stamps after visiting the tables and learning about each country. Students who collected all 11 stamps received a prize.
The afternoon concluded with cultural performances showcasing traditional dress, dramatic reading, singing, and dancing! Performances included the following:
- Representing China, Grades 3 and 4 Mandarin classes recited the poem “Quiet Night Thoughts,” by Li Bai in Mandarin.
- Representing China, Grades 1–4 Mandarin classes sang “Thank you, Mom and Dad” in Mandarin.
- Representing Russia, Angelika U. ’24 sang and danced to a traditional song.
- Representing Greece, Robert W. ’23 and Spencer F. ’23 performed the story of the Trojan horse in Latin.
- Representing Ukraine, Maria L. ’23 and Sofia ’27 L. sang and danced to a traditional song.
- Representing Iran, Ava K. ’30, Katin ’31 K., Tara T. ’30, and Melania T. ’30 and their families sang “Ey Iran,” a Persian song.
It is always an honor and an enlightening experience to celebrate the roots of people from across the globe. We hope you all enjoyed learning about some of the rich backgrounds, histories, and cultures involved in our community at BASIS Independent McLean.