Children at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club held their annual Holiday program on Thursday, December 19 presenting productions of the three major holidays celebrated in the United States: Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Between the ages of four and twelve, Boys & Girls Club kids demonstrated their knowledge of each tradition and how the holidays guide us to be concerned about the greater good.
To celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas, the B&G Club kids acted out the nativity of Jesus, playing the parts of Mary, Joseph, the angel Gabriel, the three shepherds and the three wise men. Through this reenactment, children learned not only the meaning behind the Christmas holiday but also how common practices today, such as giving and receiving gifts, have become a part of the American culture.
“The children chose the nativity scene as a way to represent Christmas and they learned that the holiday is about giving and that they should look outward to see the gifts that they have in a larger sense,” commented Tammy Karnes, Art Teacher at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club. “They should and I think they do appreciate the gifts that are right in front of them.”
The celebration of Chanukah was presented to families as they articulated the importance of symbols associated with the Festival of Lights, including the menorah. Children learned about the oil, used to purify the temple, that lasted for eight days and how the menorah is still used today to celebrate that miracle.
“Teaching the children about the history behind Chanukah and the purpose of the menorah was exciting for them,” commented teacher Kyla Boone. “Many of them were curious behind the tradition of giving gifts for eight nights.”
Children were taught about the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa that is celebrated in many African American communities, celebrating African heritage. Boys & Girls Club kids presented the seven principles associated with the holiday: Unity, Self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
“It is important that the kids learn to embrace all cultures and nationalities,” commented teacher Marla Smith. “We are accustomed to celebrating our own but we should learn others and have an appreciation for them.”