Eighth grader plans Culture Day for her peers 

Summit students are taught to be the changemakers and peacemakers needed in the world today. Eighth grader Zaina Kamran took that concept to heart when she conceived of Culture Day, an opportunity for students and teachers to share their experiences with diverse cultural traditions. The Kamran family is from Pakistan.

“I meet people who are nervous to celebrate their culture because they feel it is too different,” she said. “I want to make them feel comfortable, so they embrace their background.”  

Zaina’s vision for Culture Day was realized in Summit’s Harold C. Schott Middle School on December 13. For the event, she recruited several students and one teacher to dress in distinct attire, bring a variety of food and make poster presentations with facts about different countries. The goal was to help middle schoolers learn more about their friends and the world around them. 

“I enjoyed the opportunity to do research and learn more about the Philippines,” says Ava Dona, Grade 8, who partnered with the Brinkman siblings for Culture Day. “It’s nice to have other kids from the Philippines here and working on this together brought us closer.” 

Browsing assorted displays and chatting with participants, students enhanced their understanding of global cultures, and they even got to sample some culinary delicacies.   

“I learned a lot about Senegal,” says Nigel Smith, Grade 8. “It shares similarities with New Orleans, since both areas were colonized by the French. I also didn’t know that Mexico has indigenous languages.” 

Culture Day was entirely student led, one of the latest examples of The Summit’s commitment to its work in diversity, equity and inclusion. Organizers hope to make it an annual celebration of world cultures. 

Thank you to these Culture Day presenters: 

  • Van Devendorf, Grade 5, Switzerland 
  • Kiersten Diaz, Grade 6, Peru 
  • Seynabou Dieye, Summit French teacher, Senegal  
  • Ava Dona, Grade 8, Philippines  
  • Sydney, Grade 8, and Beckett Brinkman, Grade 6, Philippines  
  • Sage Epling, Grade 8, Mexico 
  • Lily Fecher, Grade 6, Palestine 
  • Asela Goico, Grade 5, Cuba 
  • Ben Hofmann, Grade 6, Germany 
  • Gabby Knight, Grade 8, Germany 
  • Enya Renfrow, Grade 5, Germany 
  • Ceci, Grade 8, and Lucia Viveros Valdepeña, Grade 5, Mexico