School Community Celebrates “International Day of the Girl”

By Nicole LoRusso, Editor-In-Chief

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Humanities teacher Melissa Whelan teaches students the art of Irish Dancing at the school’s International Day of the Girl celebration on Oct. 9. Photo by Theresa Kiernan.

Trinity Hall’s International Day of the Girl celebration on Oct. 9 was a day dedicated to learning more about female issues and different cultures around the world through a variety of workshops and speakers. Students and faculty all took part in the event, contributing to its success.

World language teachers Melissa Fairchild, Anne-Sophie Lehman and Lauren Pappa started planning this event the first week of school and were in constant communication with each other and other faculty members leading up it. “It is amazing what can be accomplished with teamwork and reliability on colleagues. Even those not involved [in the planning] contributed and were needed for support in order for the day to work,” Pappa said. “I love my colleagues!”

To begin the day, students and faculty gathered in the gym to pray for girls around the world, led by campus minister Sister Mariann Mahon, and to watch and reflect on videos about female global issues. After the opening session, students headed to the main building in their advisory groups to start the cultural workshops.

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Students learned more about “Henna and Indian Culture” during the cultural workshops offered at the school’s celebration of International Day of the Girl on Oct. 9. Photo by Theresa Kiernan

“We wanted the workshops to cover as many continents and use as many staff members as possible,” Pappa said. The workshops included Cultural Music and Instruments, Henna and Indian Culture, International Food, International Games, Korean 101, Irish Step Dance and Latin Dance, all of which provided students with the opportunity to see through the eyes of different people with different cultures.

“It was really interesting to learn about the cultural elements of several different countries in such a short period of time,” junior Kelly Jennings said. After the workshops, the community enjoyed a lunch with food from different cultures and a variety of ethnic desserts donated from the school’s Cultural Club.

Next, the students listened to speakers Jennifer Burden and Vijay Kumar discuss their international and humanitarian experiences. Kumar, an Indian immigrant and engineer, spoke about his global travels, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and his international humanitarian work. Burden, founder and CEO of World Mom Blog, talked about her website, which features writers from countries all over the world writing on “the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good” (worldmomsblog.com).

“I thought the speakers brought a different aspect than our normal speakers. They had very interesting and inspiring stories that made me want to accomplish crazy things, like climbing a mountain,” said junior Abby Marcin.

Advisory group 11’s “Board of Education” was selected by Head of School Mary Sciarrillo as the winner of the Global Cardboard Challenge during the school’s International Day of the Girl celebration on Oct. 9. Photo by Theresa Kiernan

The students ended the day by participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge in their advisory groups. The challenge required students to design a game or toy out of recycled materials in 50 minutes. Head of School Mary Sciarrillo served as judge and selected advisory group 11’s “Board of Education” as the winner because it creatively combined the game of Monopoly with the mission of International Day of the Girl and the focus on global issues.

“This group demonstrated a level of learning that was truly remarkable,” Sciarrillo wrote in an email to the community announcing the winning group, whose prize was a $100 donation from Trinity Hall to the cause of their choice. For their “commitment to creativity,” Sciarrillo awarded all of the advisory groups with a surprise ice cream treat.

Trinity Hall was one of three schools recently highlighted in the National Coalition of Girls’ School’s Oct. 23 e-newsletter for its recognition of International Day of the Girl, celebrated globally on Oct. 11. Following the success of this year’s event, the world language teachers hope to make it an annual celebration and to involve students more in its planning and execution so that they can gain an even greater understanding of the mission of International Day of the Girl.

“For most people, being educated opens up more opportunities to discover their passions,” Pappa said. “All humans desire to be free from suffering and to lead a happy life.”

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