During this time of year, it’s "Merry Christmas" in America, "Feliz Navidad" in Mexico, "Good Jul" in Sweden, and "Zalig Kerstfeast" in Netherlands, while families and friends celebrate all the wonderful ways of Christmas. This year DeLalio Elementary School featured countries from all around the world to New River for Christmas.
Staff members, students, families and Marines attended the first ever "Christmas Around the World" event presented at DeLalio Elementary School, Dec. 7. Arts and craft booths, culture centers, an Italian themed dinner, Book Fair, Gift Shop and Gunny Claus were some of the exciting adventures children and families explored at the event.
Wyonia Chevis, principal of DeLalio Elementary, has been with the school system and administration for over 30 years. For the past 5 years she has served as the Principal of DeLalio Elementary. Since diversity is common amongst society and school systems, Chevis encourages cultural diversity by selecting "Christmas Around the World" as the family meet and greet theme for this year.
For the past 5 years, DeLalio has been hosting the annual the Family Night Event with varying themes Chevis said.
"This year we decided to do Christmas Around the World. It is very important for our students to understand different cultures, as almost on a daily basis they are around their peers and/or classmates of different culture and different nationalities," said Chevis.
Countries highlighted on Wednesday night at Christmas Around the World were: USA, Italy, Australia, Brazil, England, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Russia, France, Canada and Sweden.
The culinary arts students served an Italian themed dinner to patrons at the event, consisting of Olive Garden breadsticks, spaghetti or alfredo pasta, a side salad, drink and Christmas cookies for dessert.
Activities and posters were scattered in the hallways, like the snowball toss in Sweden and Book Fair in Mexico, and Selfie Station at the Gift Shop. Families purchased items at the Holiday Gift Shop, as staff members handed out free books to children down the hall.
"Tonight was for the kids to enjoy celebrating together. We hope that our Christmas Around the World allowed everyone, no matter where they are from, to feel a little piece of their home traditions this holiday season," includes the Delalio Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
Chevis recognizes that, "the event would not have been possible without our fabulous PTA and the parent volunteers, MALS-29, and the DeLalio staff, and administration."
The backdrop on stage portrayed an amazing world scenery, where children met and took pictures with Gunny Claus. Gunny Claus passed out trendy bags, including camouflage, by Thirty One Gifts as children gleamed joyfully from ear to ear.
Families chatted and smiled about their diversities, agreeing that the Spirit of Christmas beings with family at heart, while Christmas cheer is celebrated from countries and cultures all around the world uniquely.