By DIANE L. CHODAN
OBSERVER Staff Writer
The excitement was evident in School 3 on a recent afternoon when the students held their Multi-Cultural Celebration. Students stationed at the doors directed members of the public to the gymnasium. At the door of the gym, other students acting as ushers handed out programs with a polite, "Welcome to School 3."
Students celebrate multiculturalism at Dunkirk School No. 3
According to Gail Miller, a reading teacher at School 3, "Our Multi-Cultural Celebration is an off-shoot of our Black History Celebration. We are in the third year of this project. It involves the children doing some research about the people they are interested in learning about. This year, the children read about, took notes on and wrote pieces about inventors, famous women, explorers, leaders, authors, musicians, athletes, U. S. presidents, and scientists. The people studied were of varied descents - African-Americans, Europeans, Asians, Caucasians, Native Americans."
Daniel Genovese, the principal, introduced the program by saying, "I can feel the energy here." He explained that the presentations of each class would be taped and later burned to a CD so the children could see themselves perform. Bill Smock, a technology teacher at the High School recorded all the performances.
The program began with a slide show highlighting the children at the school to Bette Midler's recording of "From a Distance."
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Robert Desmond’s first grade recited “George Washington Carver – America’s Greatest Farmer” in nice loud voices.
The students laughed and pointed as they recognized themselves and their schoolmates.
Each class and every child in the school was involved in making some type of presentation to demonstrate what they had learned. The presentations included songs, poetry (some of which was student written), raps, and famous quotes.
Linda Orcutt's kindergarten class presented "The Fuzzy Caterpillar." Patty Murray's kindergarteners each used imagination to come up with an exaggeration, such as "I am so strong I can lift my house."
Pam Pleszewski's fifth-grade class presented a short play called "KC's Dream" which brought to life the accomplishments and struggles of famous African-Americans such as Harriet Tubman, Nat "King" Cole, Martin Luther King Jr. These famous persons visited KC during a dream to help him deal with prejudice he felt.
Robert Desmond's first grade recited a poem about George Washington Carver. Gena Graves' first graders wrote and performed a rap about inventors.
Tammy Natarnicola's second grade wrote and recited a poem about Leaders. Nancy Ringler's second graders wrote a poem about inventors. This poem was written for two voices, so the class was divided into two groups which alternated in reciting.
Heidi Luce's third grade wrote acrostic poems about famous musicians. Valarie Csont's third grade recited a poem called "The New Kid."
The fourth grades presented famous quotes - Cindy Krzakala's students from famous women and Jeanette Kozlowski's from famous explorers.
Angie DiCara's fifth graders were the last to perform. They held a presidential parade. Each student carried a colored model of a president and gave a short description of what the president did. The last model was one of "Mr. Genovese who is like our president." Afterward, this class lead the students and the audience in the song "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.
The finale of the program was the whole school singing, "That's What Friends Are For." According to Miller, "(This song was) celebrating our sense of community and family."
The public was invited to stay to view the writing and artwork displayed in the halls.
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