Fenton hosts first International Night


Audrey DaVault

As she prepares to show her table, senior Saira Hakeem, practices reading a book she brought to represent her culture. International Night took place at Rockwood South Middle School on May 3.

Audrey DaVault, Of The Talon staff

The community offered an International Night at the middle school on May 3. Other schools in the district have this annually, but this is the first year for the school.

French teacher Kacey Schlotz said she is excited to see cultures represented and appreciated.

“The goal of the international night is to have families from different cultures and countries coming together to teach the rest of the Fenton quadrant about their culture and their country. It is a very family-friendly event for people to step out of Fenton and have their eyes open to other cultures that exist here in this quadrant,” Schlotz said.

Spanish teacher Kimberly Lackey said she was asked to help at the fair as the sponsor of the Latino Student Alliance.

“When the committee contacted me to ask if the Latino Student Alliance would like to get involved, I was so excited! I had seen posts about similar events at other Rockwood schools and I am so glad that there will be a space for Fenton quadrant families to honor the cultures and heritages of our community! I [helped] out with the craft table, along with some Latino Student Alliance volunteers. One of the crafts we [made] with participants is Mexican paper flowers. These are colorful flowers made of tissue paper and used for decorations for special occasions,” Lackey said.

Helping make the Mexican paper flowers, freshman Vincent Coleman said he enjoyed helping the kids make them.

“I decided to participate to help with the Latino Alliance which is a club that I [actively] participate in. At our table, we made the marigold flower out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners. The marigold flower was chosen since it is very important to the Day of the Dead, a Latino-based holiday. My favorite moment was helping little kids make their own flowers. Next year, I hope to see more cultures express themselves more, like [offering] more traditional food, clothes, and music/traditions,” Coleman said.

To represent French culture, Schlotz said she invited students from the past that participated in the trips that her class offers.

“We decided to do a French travel table. We are going to be talking about the trips we have done in the past here at school. So, I have a couple of students that have traveled with us before that are coming. They are bringing pictures and going to be there to answer questions and help hype up how important travel is. Especially when you are taking a language to actually go and use the language that you are learning every day in the classroom. That is the way you really learn and remember,” Schlotz said.

Senior Saira Hakeem said she was excited to show others her Henna design and her culture.

“I’m excited that I was involved in the first international night. I decided to participate in sharing parts of my culture with people. For my table, I set up the Henna design picture,” Hakeem said

Along with French cookies, Schlotz said she is bringing activities to offer for younger children.

“I have all kinds of realia from the country that I am bringing. I have some coloring sheets for the kids, and just really trying to give families that first glance at the French language and the French culture, as well as what it is all about,” Schlotz said.

Watching each culture show off its special garments was the best, Hakeem said, but she hopes more people will show up next year.

I [liked] everything, but mostly the fashion show. [I hope there will be] music from every country. [It will be better] with more people,” Hakeem said.