Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights

First-graders in Camille Iovino-Coli’s class at Barnum Woods Elementary School held a “Festival of Lights” party to observe the different holidays celebrated in their class.

Prior to the celebration, the children studied the variety of cultures, traditions and religious holidays celebrated by their fellow classmates. They learned about the similarities and differences of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali. The main message Iovino-Coli hoped her students would take away is to be respectful of one another’s cultural diversity.

For the festival, families brought in treats representing their ethnic backgrounds. The class and guests enjoyed latkes (a Jewish potato pancake), Cozonac (a Romanian pound cake), kheer (a Muslim rice pudding) and Pfeffernusse (German gingerbread cookies).

Additionally, each first-grader received a poster with candy canes and a writing activity to identify their favorite holiday tradition. Responses included spending time with family, decorating the tree and opening presents.