The Lawrence Woodmere Academy Multicultural Assembly is an annual tradition participated in by the entire school. It is held to celebrate and recognize all of the cultures that together form the LWA community.
The Multicultural Assembly of 2019 was coordinated by Mrs. Lettieri and Ms. Martinelli. When asked about its significance, Martinelli said, “It is an opportunity to celebrate the many cultures that are represented at LWA.” The hosts of the assembly were Allison Siegel (CO 2019), Tehya Gerbino (CO 2020) and Coral Haynes (CO 2022). Haynes said, “I wanted to host the assembly this year because I felt like it was important to bring people together.”
This year’s Multicultural Assembly’s theme was “Many Stories, One World.” The assembly was special to all of the students because “it is important we show how diverse the school is,” said Gerbino. She added, “The assembly is held to highlight the differences we may share with each other, and how they make us all unique and special.” It teaches the community the importance of all the cultures of the LWA community and allows its members to “appreciate our individual histories together,” according to Siegel.
The assembly featured the American folk song “This Land is Your Land” from the preschool, a Chinese fan dance from the third grade, and a “Where We Are From” slideshow. The assembly also showcased a video of the recent service-learning trip to Puerto Rico. This video was Allison Siegel’s favorite part of the assembly because in her own words, “we got to show the LWA community the work we did in Puerto Rico and they could physically see it- they didn’t have to imagine. The video that Mrs. Lettieri put together for us was very touching and moving because it showed what our relatives have done for us so that we can live the lives that we live today.” Haynes mentioned that her favorite part of the assembly was also the tribute slideshow to people’s families.
Additionally, the assembly consisted of a dance from the Upper School Dance Team, choreographed by Ariel Dugue (CO 2019) and Diana Dosso (CO 2021). Cherish Atkinson (CO 2020), one of the performers, said that “two of the songs were reggae and one of the songs was African, and prints we wore were also from Africa.” Their dance was a blend of dances from Africa and the Caribbean. Ms. Martinelli added that “the performers did a fantastic job showcasing different cultural aspects from their individuals backgrounds through dance, song, and storytelling.”
It is an important assembly for a lot of the students. This year was the first year Haynes had participated, and she said: “I’ve been at the school since 4th grade and I’ve always wanted to do it.” A long-standing tradition in the LWA community, this assembly celebrates diversity, which is important because “diversity is a spice of life and being diverse is the most important spice at LWA,” according to Martinelli.