Wareham students traveled around and inside the world

Mar 21, 2019

For one night, students of Wareham traveled all around the world - without stepping foot outside the John W. Decas School.

During the International Night on March 21, students and their parents decorated the booths inside Decas gymnasium, representing 11 countries. Upon the arrival, visitors received a passport, which they filled with stamps by traveling from booth to booth and learning about the represented country’s geography, history, customs, and traditions.

Visitors tried an array of international snacks, including churros from Mexico, dates from Turkey, and meatballs from Italy.  After sampling from and visiting each booth, guests enjoyed student-led performances such as African Dancer Extraordinaire, Irish Step Dancing, Chinese Cultural Performance, and Wampanoag Regalia.

A fourth-grade Wareham Middle School student, Hannah Milne, said she was happy to represent her country, Germany, and invited guests to visit her homeland.

“Germany is a very nice place and if they [guests] ever want to visit it they,  will have a fun time,” said Milne. “I love how welcoming people in Germany are, how much space there is, and how friendly our culture is.”

Co-organizer Laura Pol explained that the event’s mission is to help guests discover the rich diversity of the Wareham community.

“One of our greatest goals is for the kids to realize the richness that diversity brings into the world,” said Pol. “In Wareham, we have so many different cultures you don’t often get to realize and celebrate the diversity that this town carries.”

Pol added that International Night is also an “opportunity for families to share with their children their heritage.” Similarly, one of the parents and a Mexico representative, Fabioa Arellano, said that participating in the events helps her kids understand their culture.

“It is challenging for kids to assimilate one culture with another because they were born here and have lived here most of their lives,” said Arellano. “We are trying to help them accept their traditions especially because there is not much exposure to Mexican culture.”

Thanks to the efforts of a second-grade Decas School teacher Macee Doyle, this year for the first time International Night presented Project EarthView, a geography education program hosted by Bridgewater State University. The program featured a hand-painted, accurate scale, inflatable globe - 22 feet in diameter, depicting oceans, continents, and topography. Children went inside the globe for a unique look at the entire earth, in its correct proportions.

“When I was a student at Bridgewater State University, I would bring the globe to the elementary schools and events like this one,” said Doyle. “Now that I am a teacher I wanted to bring it here.”

Volunteers who helped organize the event included teachers, parents, Mass Maritime Academy students, Community members, and Wareham High School International Baccalaureate, Key Club, and Global Education students.

The International Night organizers thanked local restaurants that have generously donated food: Panera, Chili’s, Papa Gino’s, Gateway Tavern, Lindsey’s, 99, El Mariachi’s, Wareham House of Pizza, Minerva’s, and Mumma Mary’s.