Teachers, parents stand side by side for Gillispie International Day

International Day Denmark Parent Committee, front from left, includes Sidra Kureshi, Ellie Samadani, former Gillispie student Leila Kazerouni Leili Nassiri, Kelly Kjos, Anne Chodorow; back row, Anne-Mette Drucker, Mikkel Drucker. Photo: Steve Bunyak

By Jeanie Scott
Contributor

Eight years ago, Gillispie School teacher Jessica Epperson, then the student council adviser, suggested to the council’s class representatives that they create an international learning event for the school.

During the brainstorming session, the students realized that recruiting their parents to help run the event would let them enjoy more of the learning fun first-hand.

That first year, Epperson and the students recruited enough parents to create nine immersive classroom environments representing various countries. This year, more than 50 parents, grandparents, extended family, and teachers “hosted” 12 different countries for the eighth annual International Day. During a day without classes for grades prekindergarten through Grade 6, students traveled from room to room with handmade passports and travel bags. Each room represented a different country and was decorated and otherwise prepared by parent and teacher volunteers to provide an engaging experience for students. They hear national music, see flags, eat local and ethnic foods, pursue other relevant physical activities (games, dance, drumming, singing), and learn a great deal of history during educational presentations.

The first parent volunteer meeting is held in November — a full five months before the event.
Kelly Kjos, a parent who has volunteered at the event for many years, was born and raised in Australia and led an Australia experience for three years. This year, she and her parent partners decided to host Denmark. Parent Anne-Mette Drucker, a native of Denmark, provided authenticity.

Kjos and Drucker, along with four other parents, worked together to create an educational and fun event for the children featuring a Viking theme.

The students learned about the country’s history while viewing photos taken by Drucker while she lived in Denmark and recent visits. They “sailed” in a cardboard Viking boat hand-painted by the volunteers, sampled a Denmark pastry, also homemade by the parents, and painted rocks with a Viking motif as one of their souvenirs.

Epperson’s vision from eight years ago has grown into one of the most beloved days of the school year and there is no shortage of parent volunteers who are willing to help as “teachers for a day” as they share their knowledge and time.

Related posts:

  1. Fireworks displays along San Diego’s coastline debated
  2. Scientists, fishermen debate impact of larger marine protected areas
  3. Esther Viti Day is Dec. 7; next La Jolla cleanup is Dec. 11
  4. Promote La Jolla settlement signed, tensions remain
  5. UCSD Founders’ Day event draws a crowd

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=38474

Posted by Staff on Apr 2, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • California Chiropractic Association elects Del Mar practitioner as president July 25, 2014
    The California Chiropractic Association, the Sacramento-based statewide, nonprofit organization of chiropractic doctors and allied industries, announced that Brian Stenzler, a San Diego and Del Mar-based doctor of chiropractic, was elected to serve as president of CCA. He succeeds Matt Hubbard, also of San Diego, who now serves as Immediate Past President. […]
  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]