Embrace differences, celebrate similarities

Middle School students gain knowledge and appreciation for different cultures by learning about end-of-year holidays celebrated within the Landon community.

Health and Wellness Teacher Mike McCormick organized the assembly, inviting students and faculty members to speak about different holiday celebrations including Diwali, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and how Christmas is celebrated around the world in Ethiopia, Cuba, Colombia, Spain, and Germany.

Presenters shared the history of the holiday, their family traditions, and what makes the holiday special to them.   

“In Diwali, we light lights outside our house to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. Doing that with my family and eating food and talking with them (is my favorite part),” said JT Mathura ’26. 

“I’m glad that they allowed students to present on their traditions because it’s bringing awareness to other students and even other teachers if they’re not aware of those traditions,” Njuguna Ngugi ’26 said.  

McCormick said it gave him a chance to get to know the students better than he does teaching them in the classroom. “Looking at the broader picture, kind of in summation, was how everything is really related; it’s food, family, friends, lights,” he said.  

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ellice Hawkins said, “This assembly was an intentional, fun way to make sure all in our community feel seen and valued while embracing our differences and celebrating our similarities.” 

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