PCA Upper School Celebrates Culture and Diversity During International Week and Lunar New Year

DOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE (February 19, 2021) – Last week, Portsmouth Christian Academy’s Upper School hosted International Week, celebrating students and their various cultures near and far.  

The week’s events consisted of interactive games, an international chapel service and class sessions, all underscoring the international backgrounds of those in the student body. Students came together, both international and domestic, celebrating the diversity of their heritage and gaining a deeper understanding of one another’s culture. 

The week kicked off with Student Life posting an interactive bulletin board, encouraging students to connect with one another across grade levels as well as cross continents. The first game asked each class to place colored tacks on spots they had visited, and the Junior class took the lead. The second challenge included ten comments posted on the board which students had to figure out which teacher had made what statement while traveling abroad.  

Kathy Towle from the Student Life Office was responsible for starting this up. She says, “My whole thought process behind this was to get the kids as involved as possible – so to reinforce this idea all the components of the [games were] uploaded as a file onto TEAMS so any student who was currently remote could play along as well.”  

International Week made its way into classrooms as well. Exchange student from Argentina, Herminia, gave a guest lecture in American literature classes about Argentinian poet José Hernández, and led a Spanish conversation class on another day. 

Wednesday’s Chapel showcased international students’ cultures through talent such as music, dance, and cuisine. The student body took an inside look at the lives of the international student population, seeing their day to day lives, learning geography, and hearing scripture in their native language. The chapel concluded with international students thanking PCA for allowing them to be a part of the community. Towle described her excitement in discovering how the international students were able to work together to present the chapel presentation despite being miles apart. Honoring Lunar New Year, which fell on this same week, Mrs. Han’s Mandarin class all gave our international students a traditional New Year’s greeting to finish off the chapel. 

Reflecting on several highlights for herself, Towle discussed how she appreciated the conversations that she had with teachers about how great it was to collaborate with other faculty on this project. She also noted the collaboration between the students. She said, “PCA is the cord that holds all these international students (though hours apart from one another in China) together with us.” 

The festivities did not stop within the four walls of the school.  On Saturday a handful of teachers hosted a Lunar New Year’s party for the International Chinese students still in the United States. The get-together featured Chinese food, decorations, games, and lots of music to welcome the Year of the Ox. Teachers and students sang songs to celebrate the new year and the community that had become home away from home for many of them. 

Stories from PCA’s International Students: Read Tommy’s story here.

Stories from PCA’s International Students: Read Evie’s story here.

Portsmouth Christian Academy has been inspiring students on the Seacoast to maximize their potential for forty years. PCA provides a nurturing educational environment that emphasizes Christ-centered community, outstanding academics, differentiated learning, and exceptional character. Located just minutes northwest of Portsmouth, NH on a beautiful fifty-acre riverfront campus, PCA is a dually accredited, independent, college-preparatory, day school where young people from Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire in Preschool through Grade 12 are challenged to thrive academically and grow as servant-leaders prepared to impact the world for good.  

Portsmouth Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs. For more information, fill out the form below.