On the evening of Thursday, April 12th, members of the St. Francis Xavier Health Action Team hosted approximately 50 families for a unique Culture Fest Evening. The close to 200 participants enjoyed a light pasta supper while being serenaded with Italian accordion music compliments of their own Arts Integrated Teacher, Michael Savor. Following opportunities to sample different teas in the tradition of English High Tea and after awarding door prizes donated by several local businesses, families picked up their passports and were ready to embark on their rotations through four different cultural stations.
Community representatives from the Ukraine, Croatia, China and our Indigenous Peoples showcased their cultures through interactive presentations which included dance, art, music, drumming and smudging.
Public Health Nurse and HAT Lead, Carol Fedoryshyn was on hand to explain the benefits of such a community event.
“This evening served to highlight the 5 ways to mental well-being: families connected with each other and friends, they learned about different cultures, they were active when trying cultural dance moves, they took notice of the similarities and differences between their own culture and others and finally, they displayed creativity when participating in cultural traditions.”
Final evaluations of the evening, saw parents describing the event as “fun and educational” and pointed to “the benefits of spending time together as a family and being encouraged to learn and try something new.” Such an evening, of course, does not happen without the assistance of the school's HAT students and many staff members.
The school is also fortunate to have assistance from parish Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women’s League who help serve supper to the families and assist in clean up.
"This is our third family HAT evening and each one has helped to make St. Francis Xavier School a stronger community of faith and learning,” said Principal Olga Scheer. “You can’t help but walk way from nights like this without feeling you have made a difference.”