By Omololaoluwa Mary Jimo
Merrick Preparatory School is a strong advocate of courage, community, and compassion. The school often has many volunteer opportunities, co-curricular and social events which promote its three core values. As the academic year is approaching an end, MPS is about to host its annual ‘International Day.’ The International Day is another exciting event which aims to specifically promote ‘community’ in and around Merrickville. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the school has not been able to host this event since 2019. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The International Day is expected to take place on Friday, 5th of May 2023, between the hours of 1:00pm to 3:45pm. The event will happen right on the MPS campus; however, all cultural showcases will be displayed in the Kilmarnock classroom.
Over the past month, all hands have been on deck to ensure the success of this event. Intense preparations have been taking place by the teaching, non-teaching staff (including residence life) and all students of MPS. To begin with, the school’s marketing officers have done excellent work in promoting awareness of the international day. Invitations have been sent out to individuals through the schools’ various social media and email platforms. The Headmaster, Mr. Kevin Farrell, announced to all MPS staff and students, on April 17, at that time, an estimated number of three-hundred visitors, including individuals from neighbouring communities such as Kemptville and Smiths Falls had indicated that they would be in attendance. The expectation of potential participants has been on the rise. Children, families and even grandparents have indicated that they are beyond glad and honoured to be a part of witnessing the beauty in the diversity represented right at MPS. Special arrangements are even being made to accommodate more than the expected number of visitors. An anonymous interviewee says, ‘The creativity of MPS students is mind-blowing! I cannot wait to see what they have in store this year. I remember the last international day, a grade 10 student played the harp beautifully, she said that was the instrument people from her country enjoyed playing the most’. Another lady mentioned’ my favourite thing about last international day was having the opportunity to learn and appreciate more about different countries from the students themselves. I even got to learn about a country which I had never heard off. I hope this year, I get to meet more new nationals!’’.
Similarly, MPS students have been brainstorming, researching, and creating their individual or group(s) national posters. Each poster aims to reflect the uniqueness of each’s students’ country by displaying the various aspects of their culture. Dress and presentation rehearsals are expected to hold on the 4th of May 2023. Students have also had to make special arrangements to obtain their traditional attires and accessories which will be worn on that day. In addition, students have submitted special recipes of their traditional delicacies to the school's kitchen staff. The traditional dishes will be displayed by each country’s stand. Anna, a grade 12 student from Equatorial Guinea says, 'We hope our visitors come hungry because we have a lot of mouth-watering snacks and dishes to serve that day’. Each country is also expected to display a game, sport, artwork, dance, or music that originates from their motherland. Kosi, a grade 12 student from Nigeria says, ’We will be playing Nigeria’s legendary card game known as’ Whot-Whot’, you might think it is remarkably similar to ‘Uno’, but we encourage you to see how it is played for yourself’’. Students also mentioned further aspects of the event that they admire. Another grade 12 student, Farrah, from Egypt mentioned that “preparations towards the International Day has made her feel closer to home and she has had the opportunity of learning new things which she had no idea about her country.
In conclusion ‘The 2023, International Day will be taking place on Friday the 5th of May 2023 at Merrick Preparatory school’s Kilmarnock Classroom. My next article will include a follow up review of individuals that attended the event. For more details concerning the International Day, be sure to contact the headmaster Mr. Farrellemail@example.com or the marketing officer Ashley- Marshfirstname.lastname@example.org
By Omololaoluwa Jimo