The CDS Middle School has been on a globe-trotting adventure the past week, touring the world for International Week with athletic competitions, guest speakers, and cultural events.
Each advisory represented a country during the week, including the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Greece, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Brazil, Peru, North Korea, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, South Africa, India, Jamaica, Japan, and the United States.
Highlights of the week include the following:
- The week began with an official Olympic torch procession, with one student from each advisory taking turns running the torch around Stephens Hall.
- Each morning before advisory, the lobby echoed with international tunes from the various countries represented in International Week.
- Each advisory decorated its door to display essential information about their country. Judges evaluated the doors based on creativity, cultural representation, and valuable information.
- Cultural displays throughout Stephens Hall represented global cultures.
- Advisories wore “jerseys” with their country’s name and flag.
- During lunch on Monday, students sampled food representing countries across the globe.
- Advisories answered daily trivia questions based on facts about the countries participating in International Week. Questions covered all disciplines, including history, science, music, and geography.
- Advisories participated in gender-specific “knockout tournaments,” soccer penalty shoot-outs, and a Journey to Nairobi, a competition that simulated a risky journey throughout the wilderness of Kenya.
- Advisories competed against each other in internationally-based sports during the Intramurals, such as international pictionary and relays of students dressed in togas.
- Guest speakers throughout the week included Judy Li (CDS parent who lived in China), Sandy Pyeatt (Middle School teacher who lived in Senegal), and Mike Congleton (Middle School teacher who lived in St. Thomas). Molly Milroy will speak with students soon about living in Uganda.
International Week will draw to a close with the official Closing Ceremonies, which will include a variety of international music and dance performances. Gold, silver, and bronze-level winners were awarded for the week’s competitions, and the anthems of the countries represented by the winning advisories were played.
Students played a huge role in making International Week a possibility, spending four months of exploratory time planning and organizing all events, with students assigned to tasks such as researching trivia questions, discovering international music to add to the playlist, creating cultural displays, finding guest speakers, and coordinating the different competitions. Student organizers learned much more than world cultures and geography; they also expanded lifelong skills such as drafting communications to leaders, conducting research, presenting to large groups, and much more.
Though the Middle School curriculum includes units that cover a variety of international topics, this is the first time that the Middle School has dedicated an entire week for such worldly learning. “I have never seen the kids so excited to learn, and to collaborate with their classmates to “go for the gold,” said Middle School French teacher Amy Tuohy, who helped to organize the week. “After day one, students were already asking me if this would happen again next year, because they had already enjoyed the experience immensely. The Middle School definitely has raised spirits right now, with a renewed sense of curiosity and camaraderie!”
International Week also had a philanthropic component. Prior to the week, advisories discussed whom they felt best deserved their micro-loan of $25 through Kiva, which provides loans to individuals and groups with limited financial resources so they can start up and maintain businesses. Students made donations in return for food sampling, which they are using to support the Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice (WCCJ), the sixth grade service project. WCCJ is an Asheville-based organization that helps individuals break the cycle of abuse and wrong choices that lead to criminal activity.
Below are videos from the event’s Closing Ceremony.