CDS Traditions: International Festival

Nicki Ragan
CDS hosts the 2021 International Festival after a year off, due to COVID-19.

Every school has its fair share of traditions, CDS included. Whether that be fundraisers or musicals, there is always a tradition that students look forward to each year. Many traditions go on here at CDS, and one of them that just passed was International Festival.
International Festival is a festival that takes place in the Lower School Campus. International Festival is an opportunity for the elementary school students to be a part of their own cultures, and cultures around the world. This year, the festival took place on October 29th.

Lisa Vicencio, the PYP Coordinator and International Student Coordinator, helps organize the International Festival and all the activities that take place. Grades 1-5 participate in this event, and Vicencio says that, “Each grade level chooses a continent and then a country, but they have buddy classes due to COVID. For instance, the first grade chose Asia, so there’s China and Japan. Second grade chose South America, third chose Europe and fourth grade chose Africa. And then finally, the fifth grade chose Australia and New Zealand”. Classes buddied up in pairs of two, choosing a country and the grade level choosing a continent.

“What we do because IB is so transdisciplinary is, music, art, and media. These things help support the countries that the teachers and students research”, says Vicencio, explaining how the grade level incorporates each factor into the festival. Many of the students were able to choose what countries they wanted because, “we wanted to support the home countries of the students.”

The International Festival has many components to it, one of them including a performance that the elementary school presents. Each grade performs a song that represents the country that they chose. “For example, they are going to do a Chinese and Japanese song and then also the artwork that’s going to reflect their cultures and they also do research.”

Another one of these components is the artwork that they create leading up to the festival. Displays of their artwork, and any of the artifacts from that culture that they could find were located upstairs of the Lower school campus. “Then also we invite the parents to come see the displays of their countries and their artifacts.” The displays are now upstairs in the Lower campus due to COVID. This is different compared to previous years where the displays were shown off in the classrooms of the students.

When the performances and artwork displays are done being shown, the games and festival begins. Games like hacky sack and ring toss were set up in the pavilion and the football field as well. “With the festival, we try to find games that reflect the countries”, says Vicencio.