Each year at OHA, it is traditional that our fourth graders and their families celebrate Heritage Day. This year we continued this favorite tradition with a few modifications in place for safety. Even with the modifications, the day did not disappoint. The rich cultural diversity of Oak Hill Academy is a phenomenal strength to our school community and we take a day to recognize and celebrate our heritage together. In class, students discussed heritage and immigration in relation to the early residents of New Jersey. Our Heritage Day celebration invited students to explore how their own families came to live here in NJ and what traditions they brought here with them. Each student wrote a one page essay describing their tradition, created a paper doll that represents an ancestor, and provided a recipe of a food dish the family shares during the tradition. The unit typically concludes with each student presenting their essay to the parents. Parents bring in a food dish to share during the lunch event held after the essay presentation. Although we could not have parents come in this year, parents listened to essays together over Zoom. They packed special lunches for each student instead of the celebratory lunch in our Student Activity Center. The recipes were compiled into a Heritage Day digital cookbook with recipes, pictures, and reflections, so that all could share.
Although Heritage Day may have been a bit different this year, we commend our students, parents, and teachers on their efforts to make it just as memorable.