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groong: Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School Celebrates Armenian Heritage Week



209-15 Horace Harding Exp.

Bayside, NY 11364

Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School
Celebrates Armenian Heritage Week

Bayside, N.Y. – The last weeks of April were spent commemorating Armenian
history and cultural heritage by the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School
students. With a clear and spirited focus, teachers and their students
reviewed the traditional stories of our people’s origins, the difficulties
endured and most importantly, our remarkable survival. The overall lesson
learned was that the strong, vibrant Armenian identity is alive and well!

The preparations for Armenian Heritage Week actually began in early April
when each class, Nursery through Grade 6, began to research a unique topic
highlighting Armenian Heritage. Each class then presented the material
studied in a creative way. Class presentations were shared with everyone by
setting up a fascinating display in the school lobby.

As is tradition, the Nursery class focused on the sacrament of baptism in the
Armenian church. The Kindergarten students created a large topographical map
of Armenia, using colorful “Play-Dough” to indicate borders, mountains,
lakes, main cities, etc. The boys and girls of Grade 1 each made a “FAMILY
TREE” and researched their lineage. Armenian folk tales were read by the
second grade children. Their creative project was to find alternative
endings to the stories being shared. Third grade students presented a
research project on “Famous Armenians”, individuals who’ve made a mark in the
fields of medicine, politics, sports, etc. Our fourth grade students jumped
into the world of fine art and each chose a respected Armenian artist to
study. The students even reproduced some of the popular artwork to the
amazement of the community. The H.M.A.D.S. fifth graders took on the
sophisticated task of reading old Armenian poetry. They interpreted the
poetic expressions and came away with a deeper understanding of Armenia’s
natural beauty. In honor of the 1700th anniversary, our graduating class
built a very large replica of the Etchmiadzin complex. Their research was
complimented by writings on the history of Etchmiadzin. Along with this
presentation, the Sixth graders researched and embarked on even a more
challenging project – St. Gregory of Narek’s “Speaking With God From the
Depths of the Heart.” A long lasting connection was made between the power of
our Faith and the beauty of the Armenian Language.

The Heritage Week celebration at Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School came to a
close with our traditional “Musical Night” on Saturday evening May 3, 2003.
Students of Mrs. Marie Yacoubian and Mrs. Houri Ghougasian of grades 1
through 6 presented an outstanding program of Armenian song, dance and poetry
to the delight of the audience. Special thanks to Mrs. Lucyn Djirdjirian for
giving the fourth-grade students an opportunity to discover their heritage
further through dance. Under the direction of music teacher Anahid
Boghossian, the boys and girls presented the most beautiful selection of
classic Armenian songs. The younger students celebrated the coming of Spring
while the older students sang in honor of the Armenian spirit. The students’
finale was a moving version of Aram Khatchadourian’s “Hayastani Garmir Kinin”
celebrating the 100th anniversary of the noted composer’s birth.

In conclusion, Armenian Heritage Week 2003 was a meaningful learning
experience for the students of Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School. Through a
variety of activities, the boys and girls had many opportunities to better
understand their roots of Armenian Heritage.

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