Ninilchik students celebrate ‘World Culture Day’

Bonnie Pierce of Project GRAD leads a Chinese dragon dance during Ninilchik School’s rehearsal for a World Culture celebration.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Bonnie Pierce of Project GRAD leads a Chinese dragon dance during Ninilchik School’s rehearsal for a World Culture celebration.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

A dragon twisting across the floor. Maracas clacking. Grass skirts swaying. Get ready for “World Culture Day,” an event presented from 6-9 p.m. April 9 by Ninilchik School’s K-12 students, under the direction of Bonnie Pierce and Jane Beck of Project GRAD.

“We’ll have music playing and little cultural camps set up,” said Beck. “The gym will be divided into six areas and the kids will become teachers and have fun sharing what they’ve learned about these cultural areas with their families. There’ll also be games, art and activities that people can participate in.”  

Creating the event has been an avenue for studying other cultures, while enhancing the school’s multi-grade culture.

“We divided the world into six cultural groups and the kids were assigned at the beginning of the year to one of the groups that they’ve learned about,” said Beck of focusing on the broad regions of North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. 

The students created the flags of their countries of choice, made hats representative of the area and designed tribal shields with a crest representing their personal connection to the countries. They also baked bread.   

Spanning Ninilchik School’s kindergarten through 12th grade, the project provided an opportunity to pair older and younger students.

“That was an interesting benefit,” said Beck. “Younger kids look up to the older kids, so we had the older kids help younger kids as a way to just enjoy each other and bring some joy into the school.”

The project also was a way to focus on research-based qualities that positively impact young people’s development and help them be caring, responsible, productive adults. These assets include such things as caring neighborhoods and schools, safety, boundaries, positive peer influence, parent involvement in schooling and time spent in creative activities.

“The more assets that youth have, the more likely they are to be confident, independent, fulfilled, satisfied human beings that give back to the community,” said Beck. “We want them to feel supported by adults, spend time with adults, engage in activities that are healthy and pursue their passions in a healthy way. … We want these kids to feel valued and honored, to loosen up and not take everything so seriously.”

As for the dances, shields and hats, Beck said, “That’s all kind of secondary. That’s been a back-door way to have fun with the kids.”

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

More in News

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read