Copperview students showcase cultural arts at Living Traditions festival
Jul 18, 2019 03:35PM
● By Julie Slama
Parents from Copperview’s Family Learning Center performed a traditional Mexican dance as part of the school’s annual Living Traditions celebration. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Second-grader Ryann Erickson knows that at the end of the school year, as it has been every year, is a festival of countries and colors.
This past school year, the Living Traditions cultural festival didn’t disappoint her.
Every year, students learn about different nationalities and customs, often preparing dances or songs to present to the community on one of the last evenings school is held in June.
Ryann and her second-grade classmates learned about India.
“We learned about their holidays and their costumes,” she said. “Dancing is my favorite part. It was fun and not that hard.”
Her kindergartner brother, Major, performed the “Macarena” with his peers, but that wasn’t his favorite.
“It’s the snow cones,” he said.
Their mother, Candice, watched the performances, alongside 3-year-old Emery and little Sawyer.
“I love seeing the kids do fun things with their peers and to perform; it’s awesome,” she said, adding that the family also supports the school’s Winterfest and carnival. “It’s important that they learn about other people and their cultures and to accept their differences and recognize similarities.”
Principal Christie Webb said this tradition brings about 500 students and families.
“It’s a way for families to have fun at the school and learn about different cultures,” she said. “It’s just a great way to bring the community together."
The tradition has been going on, in some form, for at least the past 15 years, with the school celebrating their culture, said Copperview Community School Facilitator Jenna Landward.
“We’re a uniquely diverse school, and this gives us the chance to celebrate it,” she said.
First graders performed the Mexican Hat Dance and third graders opted for some fun with the “Cha Cha Slide.” Fourth graders performed a dance to a Utah history song, which tied into their Utah history core curriculum.
Fifth graders opted out of a performance. Instead they studied art history after testing ended in mid- to late May and used the school gathering to display their artwork, said fifth-grade teacher Cory Christianson.
“It was a fun way to wrap up the year and display it for the community to see,” he said. “Many of the students were fascinated learning about art history, especially pop art.”
They studied American artist Andy Warhol, who became famous and influential in the 1960s with his use of color and paintings of consumer goods and celebrities. He also liked to create faces in pop art with bright backgrounds.
It was his art that motivated the fifth-grade students to create their portraits in his style. The students traced their school photos and outlined them with color to create their own masterpieces.
“I liked it and didn’t know anything about all this until we studied it,” fifth-grader Zoe Godinez said. “It was one of my favorite things we learned about and did all year.”
The event also included dance performances by Izabela Pete, the reigning Southern Paiute Veterans Princess for the Paiute tribe of Utah, a traditional Mexican dance by the Jordan High Latinos in Action as well as by the Family Learning Center parents. Other activities included face painting and a chance to learn about opportunities at Tyler Library and Copperview Recreation Center.