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Families view cultural showcase at open house

openhouse01By Andrea Holata

BRIGHTON — Students at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School  got the chance to show off their knowledge of Seminole culture during an open house held at the school May 31.

The yearly open house was staged by the school’s Culture Department to show parents and family members the activities and projects students have been working on, including beaded medallions and pens, daisy chains, necklaces, traditional dolls, drawstring bags and wood carvings.

“It’s to showcase all of our mini activities and projects that the students have been working on throughout the year,” history teacher Jade Braswell Osceola said. “The students do the action. They are shown once, explained twice and the student takes over from there.”

Parents joined their children during culture class and spent 10 minutes in different classrooms seeing the children’s work firsthand.

In the history classroom, parents received a notebook filled with their child’s classwork. They then walked outside to view the garden planted by all grades. Also on display outside were the boys’ wood and soap carvings of tomahawks and canoes.

After touring the history classroom, family members visited the arts and crafts room where all students’ crafts were on display. Patchwork drawstring bags made by the eighth-graders adorned one wall and colorful daisy chains, necklaces and earrings filled another. Shadow boxes with the more intricate beadwork lined the tables, as well as traditional palmetto fiber dolls and sweetgrass baskets.

The students and parents also visited the Creek classroom where students demonstrated their knowledge of the language. They recited the Creek alphabet, numbers and pictures of common objects when called upon.

“It’s important to have this (open house) because you get to see everything. You get to see everything that’s happening in Creek class and parents get to see all the grades’ work,” Osceola said. “It’s good to see how much they have grown. You can see a timeframe of how the students have grown over the years in one day.”