International Parade concludes two-week long celebration

By: Caitlin Ramirez
| Published 03/11/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX --Friday, March 10 was a vibrant blend of color and culture at The John Cooper School International Parade, a favorite annual tradition among families. Students in prekindergarten through 5th grade dressed up in clothing from all over the globe.

Students celebrate their diverse cultural backgrounds

'It was inspiring to see our students share their pride and celebrate each other through traditional clothing,' said Head of Lower School Teresa Robson.

The parade concluded the school's two-week International Celebration, a campus-wide series of events that provided students with the opportunity to learn about different cultures and traditions from around the world.

'The International Celebration is our best opportunity to come together as a school to celebrate individuality and our various identities,' said Tya Gonsalves, Senior and Vice President of the International Club. 'Our community encompasses people from everywhere, from the furthest reaches of the world to the localities in the greater Houston area. It always makes me happy to see students and teachers participate in our activities with great pride and self-interest.'

The entire school and surrounding community came together to celebrate, with free lessons in Japanese calligraphy, Henna, Capoeira (Brazilian martial art), and more. They held a mini World Cup, an international fashion show, and sampled traditional dishes made by Cooper parents - from Mexican empanadas to Australian 'fairy bread.'

Much of the celebration was organized by the Upper School's International Club.

'It's been a great way to become involved in Cooper's diverse community and to develop leadership skills alongside lots of likeminded individuals,' said Hannah Wene, a Vice President of the club and a former expatriate.

One of the highlights for her was the International Flag Parade.

'Carrying the Qatar flag in the Flag Parade was very important to me because it gave me the opportunity to represent a big part of my life and what's shaped my identity. I've really enjoyed being able to give other students similar opportunities to represent their own cultural identities, because celebrating our unique cultural backgrounds really does bring our community even closer together. '

The John Cooper School hopes to creates a sense of community that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

'In today's interconnected world, it's important for students to develop global competency skills, such as the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from different cultures,” said Gillian Crane, Assistant Head of Upper School.

'Exposure to different cultures and traditions helps to broaden students' perspectives and encourage them to think critically about their own beliefs and assumptions. This leads to greater self-awareness and an appreciation for diversity.'

The John Cooper School strives to play an important role in promoting cultural awareness, fostering a sense of community, enhancing global competency, and broadening perspectives in their community.

The John Cooper School is a PK-12 independent, college preparatory day school that has been serving The Woodlands and greater Houston area since 1988.

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