This Festival is a wonderful tradition at our school! Throughout the week, several grades host a celebration of LIGHT, which ties into the curriculum of their grade. Many classes reaches out to the school community, inviting other classes to experience the light tradition that they are hosting: third graders pair up with 8th graders and play dreidel, second graders singing in the hall and delivering cookies, and kindergarteners walking the light spiral in reverence,
Fifth Grade Hosts — Diwali
Description: Guest class is greeted at the door and given a bindi; host class is holding candles and singing in a circle. Teacher may tell a story. This, like the others, has been done in many different ways and is open for the class teacher and students to create as they wish to offer.
Third Grade Hosts — Hanukkah
Description: Third grade teacher shares, through short story, the meaning of Hanukkah. The third graders then teach the guest class how to play dreidel (it is good to have dreidel directions displayed nicely on the wall for the students to refer to), usually using yogurt covered raisins as coins and singing Hanukkah songs. It is an option to make homemade applesauce and latkes to offer guests as well.
Second Grade Hosts — Santa Lucia
Description: Parents of second graders bake cookies for the number of children and teachers in each of the classes they will be visiting (usually each class gives cookies to the rest of the class on their “track”). The children dress in all white, wearing a red sash around their waist. May or may not be holding candles and wearing head wreaths. The second graders walk throughout the classrooms singing Santa Lucia and leave a plate of cookies for the class to enjoy.
Sixth Grade Hosts — Middle School Light Experience
Description: It is up to the teacher(s) what light experience they would like to bring to the students. In the past the guest class enters a blackened room, is led to sit in a circle. Each person has a candle, the host teacher(s) lights their candle, then lights the person on their left candle and in silence everyone’s candles are lit one-by-one around the circle. Once the circle of light is complete—one-by-one, starting with the teacher the candles are blown out, leaving everyone in darkness again.
Kindergarten Hosts — Light Spiral
Description: Advent light spiral. In this reverent and beautiful ceremony of light, children walk along a spiral path of evergreens. Reaching the center candle, the children light their apple candles and set them along the spiral path on a golden star, slowly bringing light into the darkened room.