Middlebury College Celebrates Vermont Higher Education

Day with “InternationalFest!” for Local Children on

Mar. 4

Fifth and sixth grade students, teachers and some

helpful parents from Mary Hogan School spent the morning of Vermont’s

newly proclaimed Higher Education Day on campus participating

in a program of activities hosted by international students and

students with an international academic focus at Middlebury College

on Thursday, Mar. 4.

In the great hall of the McCullough Student Center,

about 25 college students put together a series of activity stations

reflecting some aspect of their home countries or areas of study.

The grade school children cycled through the activities in small

groups—learning about different aspects of their larger world

while interacting with the older students on a one-to-one basis.

Activities and learning sessions included the presentation

and discussion of a series of originally-created maps of European

border changes from 1914 to 1918; a photo and map display accompanied

by a discussion of ecological considerations in the Amazon basin;

and a Powerpoint presentation of different economic and environmental

aspects of Kenya.

A participatory demonstration of Caribbean quadrille

dancing was presented in full costume, and the younger children

were encouraged to try on the colorful hats traditionally worn

for the dance. A hands-on display of Malay clothing provided the

grade school students the opportunity to explore their own creativity

in the art of sarong tying as they learned about the process of

batik, a traditional method for decorative printing of clothing

used throughout Malaysia.

One activity helped Mary Hogan students to learn

a series of introductory phrases in Russian and in Spanish, and

another provided the opportunity to share their thoughts, and

aspects of their own lives, with the older students in informal,

small-group chat sessions.

Concluding the morning’s program was a finale performance

of traditional music and dance—folk dances from Mexico and Tibet

in traditional costume; Colombian cumbia music and dancing in

contemporary dance clothing; folk songs from the Ukraine accompanied

by piano, and the South African National Anthem sung a capella

in the language of the indigenous Xhosa people. With a six-foot

map of Europe, smaller individual maps and sheets of translations

in Russian, Spanish, and Xhosa for their notebooks, stickers of

the Middlebury College panther, and happy faces, the Mary Hogan

students returned to their classes munching on international cookies.

For more information about the InternationalFest!,

contact Tucky Ceballos at 802-443-5629.