Source: Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Washington, D.C.
“This was an amazing tool to have. The children could not take their eyes off the presentation and had question after question about Iran and Eid. The activity sheets were a God-send and really emphasized what we had talked about. I had parents who came up to me the next day to thank me for giving their children a glimpse of our culture and teaching them something they would not learn otherwise. Thank you!” - Comments from a parent who used the PAAIA Nowruz Project in March 2011
For young children born and raised in the US and celebrating every American national holiday, explaining the concept behind Nowruz, a tradition basked in over 2500 years of history, can be a daunting task. Similarly, parents keen to share their history and heritage with their American friends and other parents don’t always have the tools and resources to do so.
Building on its successful efforts to pass the Nowruz Resolution through both Chambers of Congress in 2010, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) launched its Nowruz Project in March 2011. The Project, offered for the second year, provides parents of elementary school children with resources and information they can use to present this joyous celebration at their children’s schools. The resources include:
In 2011, parents used the resources to present to elementary school children (kindergarten through sixth grade). At last count, Iranian American parents throughout the country had presented to and used the resources with over 750 children and 200 parents and teachers. Many combined the presentation and activity sheets with other unique gestures such as adding traditional Iranian sweets, setting up a haft-seen, dressing up in traditional Iranian costumes, and giving out small gifts. Every parent commented on the enthusiasm and excitement with which the presentation and activity sheets were received and how much they had helped enhance an understanding of our culture and image within their communities.
Parents interested in using these resources at their children’s school can access them by downloading these materials off of PAAIA’s website. To continuously refine this project, PAAIA would appreciate receiving feedback and comments from parents regarding the use and efficacy of these resources. Comments, questions and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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