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Casey K as Christopher C

It was Casey K. as Christopher C. at Intermediate East, as social studies teacher Casey Kanarkowski donned his best Christopher Columbus costume to help bring the history of today's holiday to life.

Columbus, costumes, and even cannolis

Oct. 10, 2022-- At Intermediate East, eighth-grade social studies teacher Casey Kanarkowski was Christopher Columbus, dressed head to toe in costume as the Italian explorer. It set the tone for a day of fun, interactive history lessons, as students throughout the district celebrated Columbus Day 2022 by learning more about the day's meaning and cultural significance.

For his class, different stations were set up for group work discussing myths and facts about Columbus, and Kanarkowski challenged students to place themselves in the historical context and think about how they might respond to such treacherous voyages and other circumstances of the time.

At Hooper Avenue, Karen Husenica's kindergarten students made Italian-themed tambourines and learned about Columbus in a music-filled atmosphere. Other classrooms celebrated Italian-American culture with decorations, meatballs, and yes-- even cannolis, one of which Superintendent Mike Citta was urged to try. Richard Cicala's Columbus Day lesson was led by students, who presented slideshows on not just Columbus himself, but other important explorers like Marco Polo.

At West Dover Elementary, teacher Perry Gellis’s class hosted a Christopher Columbus-themed escape room, for which students had to decipher clues to reveal historical facts about Columbus and other explorers in order to unlock doors. Students competed in teams and worked collaboratively, and also received some assistance from visiting board members and administrators.

At High School East, students honored a historical icon as well as a contemporary one. Yes, while celebrating Columbus Day, students also dressed as Adam Sandler, a recent phenomenon where the comedian's "swag" look is mimicked with baggy shorts, backwards hats, and casual wear. It's unclear whether there's a connection, but there was no doubt that students were more than comfortable while learning their history. Students receiving special services at HSE also worked on Columbus Day-themed coloring and craft activities.

The photo gallery below captures all of this and more of what has been taking place across the district today.

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