Diwali Brings the Light of Community to Howe’s JK Class

At Parker, a phrase one often hears is that we are ”a model home and complete community,” and in Jeremiah Howe’s Junior Kindergarten class this idea truly shone brightly this week.

Parker parents Charu Makkar and Hasmita Shahani wanted to share a part of their home with the JK-H class and approached Howe about celebrating Diwali. This festival of lights, one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali typically lasts five days and is a great way for families to come together and celebrate. Howe readily agreed to bring their classroom family together for this celebration and, with the backing of fellow classroom parent volunteers, they combined forces to create an event filled with light, colors, learning and laughter.

After a description and explanation of Diwali, and with assistance from the parent volunteers, the students rotated among four art stations. At the first station, the Junior Kindergartners created a firework banner with the judicious application of watercolors and an empty toilet paper roll. Next, students incorporated the traditional lanterns by creating their own lanterns with paper and string. Continuing on, they used color pencils to decorate patterned designs called Rangoli. Finally, the students created Diwali cards using stenciled cutouts of diyas—traditional oil lamps that adorn entries and boundaries during the festival―and watercolors. After finishing these stations, students had a better, more complete understanding of a festival that plays a large part in the life of one of their classmates.

As Parker strives to educate responsible citizens and leaders in the global community, events like this are critical to that mission. And so we are especially thankful to parents for sharing with us and assisting in creating the safe, inclusive environment where students truly thrive.

Click here for more photos from this celebration.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.