On March 21st, Lavelle Prep Charter School hosted its 6th Annual International Day. Parents and students were invited to attend an afternoon celebration at the school which featured food and entertainment from a variety of different cultures.
The high school dance teacher, Ms. Jackson, and her students showcased three different dance performances. The 6th-grade dance class performed a traditional Haitian dance and the high school classes performed a Caribbean-style dance as well as an African dance. One student performed an Indian dance that blended both a traditional Indian song with the popular song, “Cheap Thrills” by Sean Paul and Sia.
The highlight of the night was the high school Arabic class, led by Mohamed Eldwiny and Sean Fredricks, who performed a compilation of traditional Arabic songs, alongside the NYC Arabic Orchestra. The New York Arabic Orchestra is New York City’s leading institute in classical and contemporary Arabic music, directed by world-renowned virtuoso and educator, Bassam Saba. The Orchestra brings together a culturally diverse group of musicians – as diverse as the city itself – around one common passion: Arabic Music.
Earlier this year, Lavelle Prep shared the story of their Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) which featured Mohamed Eldwiny, an educator from Egypt. For the past 2 years, Lavelle Prep has been enrolled in the TCLP program granted by the U.S. Department of State, which “is designed to increase the study and acquisition of important world languages in U.S. schools”. Mr. Eldwiny, who formerly taught English back home in Egypt, teaches up to 20 hours a week and conducts outreach within the community. Mr. Eldwiny teaches both Arabic 1 and Arabic 2, assists Lavelle’s U.S. History teacher and volunteers at surrounding schools and community centers. Check out the full interview here.
Mr. Eldwiny and Mr. Fredricks recently received a grant to have the NYC Arabic orchestra teach five sessions on traditional Arabic instruments, songs, and music at their school. The sessions culminated with Lavelle’s International Day performance.
According to Lavelle Prep’s website, “[International Day] began six years ago…originally it was little and small, and only the sixth grade. But then other grades asked to be involved,”. It grew because kids wanted to do more than just food, they also wanted to dance or sing to express their cultures.”
What a great night full of food, fun, and festivities!