Our Nations Festival celebrates the histories, customs, languages, arts, religions, dress, and culinary habits of selected countries – culture, festivities, and learning combine as one.
Students engage in project-based learning, honoring their chosen country while sharing one of our School’s most important values: Unity in Diversity.
In 2018, School of the Nations held its 38th Nations Festival. Students honored sixteen countries: Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, England, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States of America. Over two-thousand-one-hundred people attended.
Every year to prepare for the Festival, students study the geography and culture of their chosen countries and learn about politics, religion, gastronomy, and arts. Using a project-based, interdisciplinary approach, students researched their chosen country through the lens of this year’s Annual Theme ‘Create the Change.’
Students start preparing for the Festival at the beginning of the school year. In many classrooms, students find themselves learning from the shared experiences of some of their classmates who are citizens of the countries they are representing. These cross-cultural experiences sometimes come in the form of special meetings outside the classroom.
This year we were fortunate in being able to welcome special guests from different cultures, including South African artists, South Korean guests, and K-Pop performers. Through these exchanges, our students immerse themselves in many cultures of the world - fostering a deep appreciation for them.
Students commanded the stage and delivered exciting and entertaining performances at Nations Festival 2018!
In the morning, Early Childhood students put on an exuberant parade - full of color! Students in each grade showcased the cultural beauty of their chosen countries. Flags, customary dress, and charismatic smiles greeted our guests as students presented various aspects of their chosen country’s culture.
Lively performances were highlights of the celebration at our Main Campus. Our student band opened the festivities with an extraordinary display of skill - playing a selection of famous tracks including the opera-like opening of the TV series Game of Thrones.
Our Elementary students followed with a breathtaking performance. First, they presented A Million Dreams from the musical The Greatest Showman. Next, they sang Beto Guedes’ O Sal da Terra. Then, to top it off, they sang Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror. Through this dynamic repertoire, students connected with the audience sharing their message of peace and citizenship.
Our seniors prepared a distinctive medley of songs as they danced, portrayed influential Brazilian cultural icons such as Carmen Miranda, and celebrated world-renowned Brazilian songs such as the Garota de Ipanema.
Imagine some of the world’s most delicious foods - all in one place! This year’s menu brought together more than twenty delicacies. From England’s famous Bangers and Mash to Mozambique’s Chicken and Coconut Rice, students invited their guests to explore a variety of dishes from the countries they represented.
School of the Nations partnered with two local universities to prepare the menu for Nations Festival. Students of Gastronomy from Centro Universitário IESB and Centro Universitário de Brasília UniCEUB helped our students make many of the dishes during the Festival.
And this is not all that our global travelers experienced at Nations Festival 2018. Students transformed their classrooms into thematic settings complete with props, paintings, bulletin boards and more to provide visitors information about their chosen country and to immerse them in their learning experiences.
Serving Others While We Learn
Every year School of the Nations selects an institution to receive donations that we collect from the entrance fees to our Nations Festival. This year we dedicated these funds to a teacher-to-teacher training project with our sister school Escola Masrour in Manaus.
Escola Masrour is in an area known as Zona Leste in Manaus, a densely populated area with high levels of crime, violence, and drug trafficking. According to the Instituto Brasileira de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, in English) Zona Leste has the highest concentration of favelas in Manaus.
Today Escola Masrour serves 400 children and adolescents. ADCAM, the institution that manages Escola Masrour, is located in the neighborhood of Zumbi dos Palmares, which, like many other districts in this area, faces problems with infrastructure, social inequality, and a lack of security.
Proceeds from the entrance fees collected at our Nations Festival will be used to send two highly accomplished teachers from our Early Childhood staff twice to Manaus to offer training to teachers in the preschool program of Escola Masrour. Training will prepare teachers to use multisensory and hands-on teaching and learning methods using local materials and resources. We will share strategies that will enable teachers to develop strong educational programs and effective learning environments. We will also give classroom library materials to the school.