It’s safe to say that last Saturday’s OR Celebrates Family Night, the first district-wide event of its kind, was a bona fide success.
The event, hosted by ANCHOR, a parent outreach program at Sippican School, was originally planned for Sippican families but grew to also include families from Mattapoisett and Rochester.
“We wanted people to feel like they had the opportunity to share what made their family unique and special,” said Lisa Dix, a teacher at Sippican and ANCHOR co-founder.
There were long tables arranged around the school’s multi-purpose room for students to share their families’ unique heritage. Most offered static displays or laptops with information, as well as hands-on activities or food samples to engage the curious.
“The whole idea is just to flow around, check out what’s here,” Dix said. “We’ve got families that have focused mainly on heritage, but there is some other representation here, like [two students] whose great-grandfather invented Klondike Bars.”
Two women wrote people’s names in Japanese calligraphy on bookmarks. A girl cooked aebelskiver, a traditional pastry from Denmark.
An African drum group from UMass Dartmouth provided music for the first half of the hour-long event, and Sippican music teacher Patricia Richard led families in European dances for the second half.
Language teachers from the middle school and the high school were also on hand “…To showcase what the elementary kids should expect to see … in their future years,” Dix said.
Dix and Lisa Horan, who runs ANCHOR and also teaches at Sippican, hope that OR Celebrates Family Night will become an annual event hosted by different schools in the district.
By Deina Zartman