From Caribbean islands to the streets of Europe, when Carnival celebrations come around each year, cities worldwide explode in a spectacle of color. International Elementary School (IES) got in on the action with its version—Orby’s International Adventure: The Caribbean. (Orby the owl is the school’s mascot.)
For a month leading up to a student and faculty parade and performance-filled party on June 15 at Fort Greene Park, Prospectors studied up on the Caribbean islands based on grade bands—K-2 learned about Trinidad and Tobago; 3rd grade studied up on St. Lucia; 4th grade learned about Puerto Rico; and the 5th grade learned about the island of Hispaniola (which would go on to become Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
“Enrichment teachers focused on the region by Science [class] studying biomes of the region, Spanish class creating presentations on their country of focus, art making a head adornment and musical instruments, and, in PhysEd, by learning about the island’s history and components of the game of baseball,” said Emily Carroll-Chocolaad, Principal of IES. “Our culture team, led by Ms. Lawrence, oversaw all the planning and execution. They did an amazing job.”
Prospectors learned regional dances in Dance class and songs from the region in Music class. Students performed at the Carnival party, featuring a performance by a pair of moko jumbies—stilt dancers that are common at festivals and celebrations such as the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.
With the PTSO’s and volunteers’ support, Prospectors also enjoyed a steel pan performer, a DJ, and an array of food from the Caribbean islands Prospectors learned about this year.
Orby’s International Adventure will be an annual event with a new region of focus, Carroll-Chocolaad said.