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Celebrating the Holidays at Owen Scholastic Academy

22 December 2022

Students and staff at Owen Scholastic Academy had a wonderful time at the school's Season of Giving Luncheon. 

Owen Staff and Student

School communities across Chicago have been coming together to enjoy the holiday season, including Owen Scholastic Academy on Chicago’s Far Southwest Side. Led by the hard work of Mrs. Tina Bailey and other teachers and staff members at the school, Owen organized a Season of Giving Luncheon for students from pre-k all the way through fourth grade.

Students sitting at tables

In Mrs. Bailey’s classes, students prepared for the luncheon by learning about how different countries celebrate the holidays. Carrington, a fourth-grade student at Owen, was assigned Mexico. While she immediately discovered some similarities between how the holidays are celebrated in Chicago and in Mexico, what stood out to her were the differences. 

“During wintertime, the weather in Mexico is actually more like summer weather,” said Carrington. “And they also eat different types of foods like tamales. I’ve never tried tamales before but I want to.” 

A board explaining Christmas in Mexico

Researching how the holidays are celebrated in Mexico has given Carrington an opportunity to reflect on how she enjoys celebrating the holidays with her family. She explains that her family likes to put up a Christmas tree in early December and cover it with ornaments that represent all the members of their family, such as an ornament with them dressed up as penguins. 

On Christmas, her mom will cook a big feast and invite family members over to eat together. Carrington has told her mom that she should be a chef. She loves her mom’s sweet potatoes, and her brother enjoys her macaroni and cheese. 

The holiday season does not only represent a time to gather with family and friends, but it also means the school year is nearly halfway over, giving students like Carrington an opportunity to set their goals for the second half of the year. 

The year got off to a great start for Carrington when she learned that Mrs. Bailey would be her teacher again. She previously had Mrs. Bailey in the first grade and loved her time in her classroom. 

A teacher with a student smiling

“My goal for the year is to pass fourth grade, and I know I can do that with Mrs. Bailey’s help,” said Carrington. “She cares about our education and helping us succeed. And when she goes a little hard on us, I know it’s because she wants us to grow.” 

During the Season of Giving Luncheon, the hard work of Carrington and her peers was displayed on the walls as each student created a poster to summarize what they learned. Student work spanned the entire globe—from France to China to Italy. 

Holiday posters

Owen staff decorated the school’s gymnasium with red and green tablecloths, various artistic decorations on the walls such as Santa going down a chimney, and even a Christmas tree. The luncheon included a presentation about how the holidays are celebrated across the world, various games and activities, a gift for each student, and, of course, a delicious meal. 

Decorated lunch tables

Students eating a meal

And while the luncheon was geared toward younger students, some of Owen’s older students participated by serving food and making sure the event ran smoothly. 

Staff and parents serving kids

The Season of Giving Luncheon was the perfect note to end on, and our District is looking forward to seeing what Owen students and staff accomplish in 2023. Happy holidays!

WB Owen Elementary School sign

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