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Kelly International Day Picnics Around the World

WEST ORANGE, NJ - It was a beautiful day to Picnic Around the World, and Kelly Elementary School fifth grade students did just that at their annual International Day celebration on Feb. 22.


Under the direction of music teacher Deborah Rees, the Fifth Grade Choir performed songs in multi-part harmonies that represented countries like Israel, Ghana, Cuba, Ireland, Africa, and America. Student Jana Abdelgany sang "Jour One," (Day One), and Nicole Elizondo Prado performed a song in Spanish.


Michelle Manza read an original poem about Kenya, Taylor Schiner and Ava de Barros read a poem in Portuguese, Zion Roxborough and Danabelle Jean Joseph performed a Haitian dance, Olenka Salas played a Peruvian song, "El Condor Pasa," on her violin, and Cameron Lau and his younger brother Brendan  performed a Chinese Lion Dance.


"What a wonderful way to celebrate our Annual International Luncheon," began Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara.


"I would like to commend our fifth grade teachers, Amy Pacifico, Anthony Carsillo, Kelly Clancy, Patty Quinn, Nick Salese, our Paraprofessionals and our music teacher Debbie Rees. Your dedication to our students and commitment to celebrating the richness of our diversity made this event possible for more than 25 years," she continued.


Today’s program truly took us on an imaginary picnic around the world," she went on to say.


Speaking to students, Dr. Pollara said, "Through your music and dance you have touched the hearts of all of us and filled our buckets to the brim. In every culture, the language of music reflects the joys, and sometimes sorrows of life. Through music, we can all tell our stories. It comforts us when we are sad, it brings joy when we are happy and certainly helps us celebrate the goodness and light in each other. When words fail, music sends a message. But what are we actually hearing? The invitation to transform us is there if we listen."


"Maya Angelou, a very famous poet once said, “It is time for parents (and teachers) to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength," Dr. Pollara concluded.


Following the program, students, parents, and staff share an International meal prepared by parents.



Picnic of the World
Zum Gali Gali - Hebrew folk song
Obwisana- a combination of 2 Ghana folk songs
Amani Utupe, a song in Swahili and English.  The title translates to , "Grant Us Peace, Give Us Courage."
Rattlin' Bog- Irish folk song
Yo Vivo Cantando, an Afro, Latin, Cuban Fusion song-  Music is my life
Land That We Love/ America the Beautiful (performed in Sign Language by Sign Language Club students.)


See videos below and see all the photos here:


Kelly International Day


Students perform "Obwisana."


Students perform "Rattlin' Bog."


 Jana Abdelgany sings "Jour One."


 Students perform "Yo Vivo Cantando."




Cynthia Cumming
March 1, 2019