Poland McKinley became a window on the world Friday as students celebrated Nationality Day by dressing the part and enjoying ethnic foods. The event has been taking place at the school for a long time.
"We've been doing this for over 20 years," said teacher and event organizer Linda Angelo.
She said the entire day is devoted to celebrating the heritage of Poland McKinley families. Each student comes to school dressed in attire that matches their family's heritage and some bring interesting artifacts to showcase their country of origin.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Checking out the many Irish artifacts in the Poland McKinley Library are ethnically dressed sixth-graders Rabekah Thomas (Ireland), Tyler Campbell (Finland), Emma Bogendorfer (Slovakia), Caitlyn Saxon (Puerto Rico), and Mackenzie Baker (Ireland).
The artifacts are set up in tables at the school's library and students with their parents are allowed to roam the tables and check out the displays. They are also treated to a special lunch.
Angelo said the McKinley PTA helps serve up lunch with dishes representing each nationality. The dishes are set up in a typical cafeteria setting with name tags showing what nation the dish comes from. The students and their parents can select any of the dishes and enjoy a lunch together. They also are able to see various dances and musical performances and the kids have special guest speakers in their classroom talking on different cultures.
"It all started back in January when the students wrote a report on their country of ancestry," Angelo said, "They worked on it for two months by doing a lot of research."