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GlobalFest 2016 Welcomes the World to Joliet Central High School

November 28, 2016 08:27 AM
Global_Fest
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GlobalFest Illinois 2016 was hosted this year at Joliet Central High School on Saturday, November 19th.

Over four hundred people came together to celebrate world languages, cultures and diversity and to showcase their own cultural heritage and talents.

Students experienced and presented in Language Immersion Rooms, Discovery Rooms, performances, competitions, exhibits and markets. JTHS students had the opportunity to meet foreign exchange students from over 20 different countries. To feed the large crowd, Joliet community vendors offered a variety of cultural foods and beverages.

Joliet Central student Amanda Affrunti said, "My favorite things about Global Fest was that it was at my school, Joliet Central. I think that what a great place to have an event like this because our student population is so culturally diverse. Also, I loved how everyone was so authentically engaged in all the activities and performances, not only in certain times but the whole time. Everyone was fully into this event, learning, trying new things, and having fun and meeting new people.”

GlobalFest Committee Chairpersons Lisa Luangsomkham and Yvonne Yelnick-Pickett and their dozens of student volunteers worked diligently to coordinate all GlobalFest activities, performances and competitions. Cross-curricular and Cross-Academy work on GlobalFest was encouraged and supported by Al Filipponi, District Curriculum Director, and Academy Coordinators Robin English and Mike Lutz.

Many JTHS staff members and students were actively involved in running Discovery Rooms. Joliet Central Spanish Teachers Shana Sanchez and Dina Zmuda, and their students taught participants how to make a variety of Mexican handicrafts.  Joliet West French teacher JoAnne Bratkovich and her students taught French Cultural Dances. Central ASL Teacher, Wendy Weith, and her students taught participants the Pledge of Allegiance using American Sign Language.

Sgt. Calvin Lee, the Color Guard and the ROTC students served as guides for visiting schools and assisted with all GlobalFest activities including the Parade of Schools and Nations, Krazy Olympiks, and Quiz Bowl. Joliet Central and West teachers Sharon Eichensehr, Kim Guidinger, Allison Farkos and Lisa Ryan served as Quiz Bowl readers. 

JTHS students enjoyed learning about and sharing cultures through arts and performances as well. Two choir students proudly sang the national anthem to the audience. Central teacher Allison Farkos and PTO member Michele Sheets served as performance judges and Central teacher Jen Doberstyn assisted in activities.

Throughout the day, Anne Zmuda's photography students took photographs to capture and document all the cultural events and student participation to share with the school, the Joliet community and the Joliet Township Educational Foundation who provided many scholarships for the students to attend.

The following Joliet Central High School students won awards at GlobalFest 2016:

  • Best of Show Winner of the GlobalFest Talent Show: Lauryn Luangsomkham and her Multicultural Education Outreach Foundation dancers performing Pao Lao, a Lao dance.
  • 1st place winners of the GlobalFest Talent Show: Dancers Micaela Delgado, Maribel Martinez, Marisol Martinez and Natalia Perez performing Baile Folklorico del Norte de Mexico.
  • 1st Place Arts and Crafts Competition-Drawing Category: Stephanie Reyes

After the very successful event, Luangsomkham and Yelnick-Pickett said, “We believe that our Joliet Township High School and Joliet community came together to make this celebration of culture and diversity a great success for hundreds of people from around the state and foreign students from around the world.  Joliet Township High School students were extremely proud to showcase their cultural heritage, talents, benevolent spirit and spectacular school facilities here at Joliet Central High School.”

“The volunteer efforts from students, teachers, administrators and community members was amazing. One student explained that she did not really realize and appreciate all that we have here at Joliet Central until she led a school group from downstate Champaign around the school complex to show them where all the GlobalFest events would be taking place. She was so very proud,” said Yelnick-Pickett.

To view photos from the event, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jths204/albums/72157676847762856

(Photo Credit Amanda Affrunit)

 

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