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Friday, August 22, 2014
School News
Cultures, traditions on display at North High
Shane Molinari/Herald
Rida Aziz and Saima Rahman created a display about Pakistan.

On an average day at Valley Stream North High School, many students wear jeans and a T-shirt, eat a meal in the cafeteria and learn a few things in class. On March 21, at the school’s fourth annual Culture Fair, those same students did things a bit differently, but ultimately came away with some insights as to where their classmates come from and traditions from around the globe.

North students, parents, teachers and administrators gathered to eat food, look at artwork and watch cultural performances. Eileen Milazzo, a language teacher and advisor to the Languages Other Than English Honor Society, ran the event for the second straight year. She sold about 300 tickets for the fair and said that the school donates half the money it raises from the event to CARE, a charity that fights world hunger.

Principal Cliff Odell said he couldn’t be more proud of North’s student body and faculty during the fair. “One of the greatest strengths in this school is how our entire school community embraces our diversity,” he said, “and to see us be able to celebrate that is amazing.”

Seventh and eighth grade students created posters based on their respective heritages and one poster from each class was chosen to be displayed during the event. Also, students and parents cooked traditional food from their families’ native countries.

Ralph Garcia, a sophomore, was participating in the event for the first time. He and Raquel Hazell did a salsa dance for the hundreds of people in the crowd. Garcia said he and Hazell practiced their dance for a week after school and was expecting a lot of applause when they finished. He liked the idea of bringing the school’s different cultures together for a night of celebration. “It’s a good thing because people get introduced to different cultures, a lot of different foods that they’ve never had before and the dances too,” he said.

President of the LOTE Honor Society, Matt Lueckheide, said he had a good time checking out all of the posters and trying the different foods. “It’s pretty cool to see everyone enjoying themselves and know that I had a part in this,” he said.

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