Horizon Academy Displays World Cultures at Open Day
Horizon Academy went global today – right on their school grounds. Students transformed themselves and their spaces into countries as far as Egypt, Japan and India. Today’s efforts are a part of celebrating culture day at the school and so for their annual open house they decided to showcase cultures outside of Belize. News Five stopped in at Horizon Academy to check out the displays and presentations.
Dian Maheia, Principal, Horizon Academy
“Our culture day is different from the culture days at other schools because we are looking at international countries. Every class is focused on one country that is around the country. So, the children are learning about Mexico, India, Brazil, Japan – there are nine different countries that they are working on right now to learn about.”
“Talk to us about why it is important – I mean kids are over this side of the world and they may never ever get to see the other part of the world – why is it important for them to learn about other places outside of Belize?”
“That is exactly right. They may never travel to all of these countries; we may never do that. But it is important for children to understand that we are global citizens. To learn about our local culture, our ethnic groups, is very important and we do that as a matter of course in our social studies and history classes. But what this period of time in the school year is devoted to is teaching the children about the other cultures so that they understand how to find these countries on the globe. They understand a little but more about their practices, religions, food, the languages, the dress; and it broadens them. Holistic learning is very important to us and this is an opportunity for children to learn in really practical ways about other places.”
“Talk to us about some of the preparation that went into this; because this is a big number in terms of activities that went into this?”
“Right. It has been weeks of preparation for the teachers and the students and what they have done they incorporated the preparation for culture day into their academic lessons. So, they have been writing reports as they have done research on languages, for example, on cultures, on superstitions and folklore; sports from other countries and sporting teams and they have done activities in that respect; they have learnt to make art, displays and models of sports theaters and stadiums like in Brazil. So, it has really been a lot of work on the part of the teachers and the students. Parents have gotten involved as well, for example, they helped with cooking food of the different countries.”