Tokeneke families enjoyed an international evening at the school’s popular Passport around the World event on Thursday, March 9. Hundreds of students, parents and teachers filled the great hall, gymnasium and auditorium to partake in the biennial cultural celebration.       

The gymnasium was transformed into an international fair with stations representing countries from around the world and hosted by parents who were excited to share a bit of their cultural heritage. The children carried a passport from station to station and enjoyed exploring all of the different artifacts, native goods and hands-on activities. In order to receive a stamp in their passport, students had to answer a special question at each booth and once they had filled their passport they could collect a prize.

In the Great Hall, guests had the opportunity to sample cuisines from around the world as volunteers from the Depot dished out tasty treats donated by local restaurants Coromandel, Tengda, Brasita’s, The Goose, Center Street Public House, Meatball & Co, Post Corner Pizza and Angela Mia. Meanwhile, on the main stage in the common room, Principal Mary Michelson emceed the evening of entertainment that featured performances from Tokeneke students as well local dance troupes.

The audience enjoyed a dozen different styles of dance including a traditional Indian dance by Tokeneke fifth grader Rithwika Veeturi, a Kung Fu and Bollywood number by the Darien Arts Center, a martial arts demonstration by Dynamic Martial Arts Family Center, Irish step dancing by Pender Keady Academy, a Chinese dance by the Chinese Language School of Fairfield County and a Russian song and dance by students of the Evrika Learning Center.

Event organizer and Tokeneke parent Nakia Steadman was pleased with the turnout. “It was nice to see so many kids dressed in cultural costume proudly showcasing their cultural heritage. The night had such a great community feel to it and it was a nice way to get to know new faces,” she said.

This is Tokeneke’s third Passport around the World celebration since its inception in 2013, and it continues to be one of the school's most popular events for students and parents alike.