Every holiday season bring memories of past traditions, families gathering to celebrate, delicious food aplenty and students home from school in anticipation of the excitement to come. Besides Santa Clause himself, one of the more symbolic items we celebrate in the United States is the Christmas tree.
For the past couple of seasons, minus the COVID years, the Columbus North Library has displayed a “Bull Dog Blue” tree honoring our primary school color. However, with students representing over 35 countries and speaking as many native languages, great minds began to think alike to start a new tradition. One of the most beautiful displays is at the entrance of the school where the flags of countries representing our students are hung, and it is a beautiful sight to see.
Jerrica Dowling, the Library Media Specialist, and her assistant, Amber Gilley, also a specialist in Library Media, thought there should be a better way to honor all students and make them feel welcome and at home in the library. Along with Jana Thompson, ESL and Chinese language teacher, they began to research and plan for a very special display.
While not all countries celebrate Christmas, many still participate with Christmas trees, lights, menorahs, and even festivals including Santa Clause. Amber Gilley supplied a Christmas tree for the library and with students helping, they began their project to create a tree that represented many countries and traditions. After extensive research, they created hand-made ornaments representing the many home countries of North students. The outcome of their efforts is absolutely beautiful.
Pictured above: (students) Jenifer Lopez Pita, Delaney Williams, Lori Monday, Emily Branham, Hailey Hardin. Not Pictured: Summer Williams, Destiny Hayes
Staff: Jerrica Dowling–Library Media Specialist, Amber Gilley–Library Media Assistant, Jana Thompson–ESL and Chinese language teacher
The entire project was a labor love now to be enjoyed by all. From November to February every year, 24 different holidays are celebrated throughout the world. The students and staff all donated their time and talent to create the beautiful ornaments featuring different holidays and representing many different cultures. From Vietnamese flowers to Chinese lanterns, the tree has been brought to life for all to enjoy. Most supplies were either donated or made of readily-available materials at the school. Every student brought a talent that made the tree so special.
Some of the students are interested in Library Sciences as a career. Others will carry this experience to become welcoming citizens of all countries and cultures. Regardless, the CNHS Library is celebrating with the rest of the world during the holidays and we are proud of their efforts.