A little rain couldn’t dampen the excitement of the Waterside community as we celebrated the return of the International Festival on Saturday, April 29. Students, families, and friends gathered to highlight the more than 40 nations that make up our student body. After a three-year hiatus, everyone was excited for the return of this special Waterside event.
The Festival kicked off with the Parade of Countries, showcasing the identities of our students. As each student walked down the aisle waving their flag and wearing their sash with pride, the gym was filled with cheers of joy.
Each class presented a dance choreographed and organized by a classmate’s family member to represent that student’s heritage. This year, Waterside students presented dances from Albania, Colombia, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. Waterside families also worked with current students to present dances from Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, and Peru. The day ended with the traditional performance of West African dancing and drumming by the fourth and fifth graders, led by Kwamé Henry Jones and Domeeka Long. Mr. Jones reflected on his long partnership with Waterside, called this year’s participants “an outstanding group,” and presented Mr. Jonny Duennebier with his own drum as a symbol of their fruitful friendship.
On Monday, May 1, the School continued to celebrate our community’s vibrant diversity with an international dress-down day and a Food Festival for lunch! Students came to school that morning dressed in clothes that represent their backgrounds, while parents shared savory and sweet dishes for an international lunch buffet. We are incredibly proud of the hard work students, faculty, staff, and parents put into making this event possible.