The spirit of Ireland graced during its Cultural Studies Week. From Feb. 7 through Feb. 11, students and staff were immersed in all-things Irish, from educational games, workshops, music, dance, geography and food.
Under the leadership of Bonni Cohen, Manorhaven principal, teachers and parent volunteers, Cultural Studies week was in full force. The library was transformed into an Irish castle. Bulletin boards throughout the school were chockfull of information about Ireland and its culture. And of course, many students, staff and parents incorporated green into their wardrobes.
Thursday was especially busy. The schedule included visits from Sen. Jack Martins, Superintendent Geoffrey Gordon and former Manorhaven School Principal Dr. Linda Welles. There were workshops and presentations, including a hurling demonstration from the GAA Minor Board of Greater New York.
As Manorhaven students learned, hurling is of Gaelic origin and requires the skill of lacrosse, baseball and hockey, with a heritage that dates back to as far back as 500 BC. The children had the chance to try their hand at the sport, balancing the ball and also scoring goals.
Some students also had the chance to learn the tradition of storytelling from Marni Gillard, winner of the Anne Izzard Storytellers' Choice Award for her book "Storyteller, Storyteacher." Gillard shared a coming of age story of Finn MacCool, and encouraged the children to spend three minutes telling their own stories to a partner.
"Language arts is the most powerful tool," she said.
Students returned Thursday evening to enjoy the event with their parents.With Irish stew from Finn MacCool's and shepherd’s pie and mini soda-bread muffins from Sullivan’s Quay, along with Irish step-dancing on the agenda, it was a night to remember.