One of the wonderful benefits of the Au Pair in America programs is the relationships formed by host families and their au pairs. Au Pairs truly become part of the family. Often they return for visits with their former families. Some families even go and visit their former au pairs in their countries. Recently the Diana Melick, a host mom from Setauket, Long Island, New York traveled to Germany with her twin daughters. While there they visited with their former au pair, Helena Gottschalk.
Today starts the first day of the chinese new year, 2015 is the year of the goat/sheep! Chinese astrology says that each year is associated with an animal sign, occuring in a 12 year cycle. This is similar to the zodiac signs you may be familiar with that occur about every month or so, except these represent specific years.
How is the holiday celebrated? In brief, the Chinese New Year celebration or “Spring Festival” lasts for about a week long. Fireworks are set off, dragon dances, ancestor worship, and traditional performances. Red is the main color of the festival and all types of decorations in this color will be seen. A popular practice is the giving of red envelopes (usually containing money) to youth and retired seniors.
Family and Friends are very important during this time and generally China is extremely busy, as people are racing home to see their loved ones! There are so many cultures in the world that it’s always interested to find out what people are doing elsewhere.
Lucky Numbers- 2 & 7
Lucky Colors – Brown, Red, Purple
LuckyFlowers- Carnations & Primroses
Lucky Months- August & November
Clarissa Pfisterer and Maria Tarnopolskaia, Au Pair in America au pairs, visited Peconic Community School to teach the first grade class about Germany. They prepared a power point and a craft for the children.
Clarissa’s host child, Charlotte was very excited that her au pair was teaching the class about Germany. She had already learned a lot about Germany from Clarissa. Charlotte is able to speak some German sentences and answered a lot of the questions the au pairs asked the students. The children learned about things invented in Germany, German foods, some German words and how to count to 5 in Germany. 1 eins 2 zwei 3 drei 4 vier 5 funf
They loved hearing that some of their favorite princess stories were from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. After the power point and all the children’s questions, they painted pretzels made of clay. They au pairs had explained that pretzels are from Germany! One child painted her pretzel in the colors of the Germany flag.
The presentation by Clarissa and Maria is part to the Global Awareness program sponsored by Au Pair in America. Au Pairs are encouraged to share their culture with American school children. Each au pair who participates in Global Awareness prepares her own presentation. She is supported with materials from the Global Awareness coordinator and then works with the teacher to prepare an age appropriate lesson. Each lesson is as unique as the au pair is herself. To learn more about Global Awareness click here.
ALICE BROWN EARLY LEARNING CENTER -Ms. Caligiuri’s pre-k class had a visit from Andrea Vargas Guerrero. Andrea is an Au Pair with Au Pair in America in Huntington, Long Island. Ms. Caligiuri wrote this about Andrea’s visit: This morning, Charlotte’s Au Pair, Andrea, visited the class to speak with the Pre-K 3 children about her home country Colombia! Andrea explained to the children about the several differences between the United States and Colombia. Colombia is a Much Smaller Country Than America Andrea showed the children on a map how small Colombia is when compared to the United States. The Colombian Flag VS. The American Flag Andrea also spoke about the Colombian flag and how different it is from the American flag. Breckin: The flag of America is red, white, and blue. Mason: And there are stars and the stars are for each of the states. Andrea showed the children what the Colombia flag looks like. Andrea: The Colombian flag has three colors…yellow, blue and red. She then gave each child their own sticker of the Colombian flag. At the end of Andrea’s visit, she taught the children how to count up to ten in Spanish. She showed a book of numbers, and while the children said each number in English, Andrea said it in Spanish. After going through the whole book, Andrea played a game with the children, where she said a number in Spanish and the children were asked to jump that number. Thank You Visiting Our Class Andrea!!!!!
Susette Araujo Sousa from Brazil visited Minnesauke Elementary School to share her culture with her host child’s Kindergarten class. Mrs. Sheridan welcomed her and the students were excited to listen and learn!
Susette showed off the Brazilian flag colors and explained their meanings. Green for the earth, gold for the minerals and blue for the sky!
She talked about Brazil’s pride in the World Cup and lots of the students talked about playing soccer!
The children loved the brigadeiros that Susette brought to share!
German Au Pair, Justine Probst visited her host child’s 2nd grade classroom to talk about her country with the students.
She showed the students a traditional dirndl dress she made for October fest. She said she wore it to Octoberfest here with her host family!
She engaged the students by asking them questions about Germany. Many knew it is in Europe. Justine showed them where on the world map.
She brought a German flag and some of the children knew the colors before she even showed it to them!
She brought some euros and explained that most of Europe uses euros for money. The children all got a chance to see and touch the money.
They learned some words in German and even sang the song “Happy Birthday” in German! Justine kept the children interested and they were engaged in her lesson.
Au Pairs from Au Pair in America are encouraged to share their culture with American students through a program called Global Awareness. http://www.globalawareness.com/
Au Pair in America au pairs not only provide childcare but are also active in their local communities. Global Awareness, a unique volunteer program sponsored by Au Pair in America, is designed to foster a greater knowledge of the diversity and variety of cultures the world has to offer.
Au pairs go into elementary school classrooms, libraries, local bookstores, cub scout and brownie groups and other areas of interest to children to share their culture. One teacher recently said “60 kids will go home today knowing more about the world than when they first arrived at school this morning”.
The au pairs present a wide variety of topics and all the presentations are interactive and fun for the children!
Happy Year of the Horse 2014!
Chinese New Year starts today! It is the year of the horse. Budda said people born in the Year of the Horse are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands.
Wear red for good luck to start the Chinese New Year!
There are events all over Suffolk County Celebrating Chinese New Year and even more in NYC!
On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
Au Pair in America promotes education through the Global Awareness Program exclusive to APIA! Au Pairs are encouraged to share their culture to promote international understanding in American classrooms around the USA. If you are interested in learning more about Au Pair in America’s Global Awareness program click here.
Brazil: Gisella Nascimento and her host children created the Brazilian flag in legos. Colombia: Veronica Giraldo created her flag by individually making each of these flowers in thread. Brazil: Raquel Brun Carvalho. Raquel built both the Brazilian and American flags in legos-our neighbors! Ukraine: Olena Petelko used needledwork to depict her country’s flag. Olena provided some background information for us. South Africa: Marianne Hohls and her two host boys, ages 4 and 5, created her flag from Legos. New Zealand: Melissa wedgwood designed her flag on a backdrop of the Pavlova dessert which is an icon in New Zealand. Germany: Julia Kahl and her host children created a crayon drawing of her flag against the background of the Denver sky. Israel and Germany: Nitzan Dorenboim and Freddy Eixner combined their country flags with cupcakes. What an ingenious idea! The partnering of Germany and Israel won Best Team Entry! United Kingdom: Hollie Cottrell baked a very delicious-looking cake to represent her flag. Germany: Mirijam Hinger used frozen yogurt and fruit to show us her flag. Netherlands: Carla Van Dijk who is living in Princeton, NJ, placed her flag against the backdrop of Princeton University. U.S.A: Denise Eliopolus’ cluster created their vision of the U.S. flag on cupcakes. U.S. A. This representation of the U.S. flag was done by Katie, age 7,a host child in CT. Katie used her favorite glitter and sprinkled it on the flag. Mia, from Malaysi is Katie’s au pair, and Mia’s entry is the next one. Malaysia: Mia Ng used fruit because it represents her country’s fruit production Many nations: Cindy Garruba, a community counselor on the North Shore of Long Island worked with her au pairs on representing all of their countries on a map of Long Island. The teamwork is awesome! Denise Eliopolus and her cluster: Denise is a community counselor in NJ. This photo shows the au pairs in her cluster who created the USA cupcakes. Around the world: many nations in Gosia Downes cluster (NJ) are represented by paper dolls. The next photo shows the au pairs who participated in the Flag Day Contest.
Cindy Garruba, Suffolk County Community Counselor interviews former Au Pair Patty Bak on how her year as an Au Pair in America influenced her view of Americans.