Karina from Brazil has spent 2 years with a family in Pamela Mayer-Caes’ Illinois cluster. Karina had the opportunity to showcase her culture in a two-day presentation as part of the Passport Project at Field Park Elementary School. As Karina describes, “in this program they [the students] would “travel” to a country in each continent every month learning about the country, culture and nice things about it. With my host mom and Jill (a student’s mom who lived in Brazil for a little bit) we created their trip to Brazil! It was so fun doing it, we even had my mom’s help who sent us “petecas” from Brazil. Peteca is a traditional sport in Brazil, played with a “hand shuttlecock from indigenous origins and reputed to be as old the country it self.
The two-day “trip” to Brazil that Karina and the parents created was geared for second graders. “We had two soccer coaches from Brazil to come on the first day to play some soccer with the kids since soccer is a really big deal in Brazil and the kids loved it! They learned about the flag, I made a video where they could see a little bit about the country, they learned some facts and had a lot of fun while learning it! For the second day we had a Portuguese lesson by me and a friend (she’s a Brazilian au pair too!), we decorated tambourines, masks for carnival, played peteca, and we also had two Brazilian samba dancers to come to the class to teach a little bit about samba and to have a carnival parade around the school!”