Hoover, Meredith Celebrate Global Students and Learning
The Meredith-Hoover complex in northwest Des Moines is rich in diversity on a daily basis. Students found their ways there from some 35 different nations of birth. One day every year Hoover High School makes it a point to celebrate that richness with a special assembly and Thursday was the designated day for 2015-16.
Actually there was a series of assemblies. Bright and early in the morning the students from Meredith Middle School were the audience in the Hoover auditorium for the first one, a program that set a perfect tone for Meredith’s IB World Day Expo that was slated for later in the day, after school. More on that later.
The theme for the assemblies was Origins of a Community. And as a series of student performances made abundantly clear, those origins span the globe. There were African song and dance; fashion shows from Pakistan and Kenya; Rakhine dance from Asia. An exchange student rat-a-tat-tatted an Italian rap. Also included were a dash of classical piano and some break dancing.
Meanwhile, next door the Meredith students were putting the finishing touches on exhibits based on their International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme “Learner Profile Traits,” one of them in particular: open-mindedness.
Holly Meagher is the IB Coordinator and an Instructional Coach at Meredith and Thursday afternoon she was excited as she made the rounds of student displays in hallways decorated with flags of countries from around the world and pennants from colleges nationwide. A new addition this year is a work still in progress in the office corridor. It’s a mural painted collaboratively by Meredith art students that depicts landmarks ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Eiffel Tower and expresses a shared hope for a more peaceful world. Meagher pointed to it with pride.
“Besides the student displays you see here in the halls we have some hands-on activities in some of the classrooms,” she said. “In our design center, for instance, parents and visitors will be able to really get an idea of what their students are doing each day at school.”
Meredith/Hoover is the site of a program for newcomers to this country who are processed through the district’s Welcome Center and arrive here speaking no English. The IB-MYP curriculum for grades 6-10 with its emphasis on global perspective is a natural fit in a district as diverse as this one, particularly so in this segment of it.
The diversity assemblies that began and ended the day at Hoover opened with a beautiful song called I Am an African Girl. It could as well be the DMPS theme song with the following parenthetical tag added to it: Among Many Other Peoples.