ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Seventh-grade student Muna Adan acts as a guide at the Spanish exhibit.
By DAVID WILSON
LYNN — Standing with Magalie Rowe, we’re not exactly sure which country we’re in.
It looks as if we’re right on the border of Paraguay and Uruguay. Argentina and Chile are just inches away, and it’s only a short walk to Costa Rica.
Don’t worry; our geography isn’t that bad. We’re at the “Night of Excellence,” an annual event put on by the students and staff at Breed Middle School.
Rowe, one of the school’s Spanish teachers, urges us to take a one day, 21-country trip. We’re to start in the United States, then head off to Mexico and Guatemala; countries to follow include Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, and Puerto Rico.
We don’t have to pay or take an airplane, Rowe says with a laugh; it’s a free trip. Well, count us in.
Surrounded by balloons, a handwritten sign says “Trip to Spanish-speaking countries.” Start here, and enjoy a line of student-made posters. The posters, decorated with glitter and streamers, detail customs and traditions of each country.
Flyers for the school’s Spanish Club “Society of Friendship” also line the exhibit. The society’s purpose is to “promote cross-cultural acceptance and understanding,” the flyer says.
Rowe, who is originally from Peru, interacts with students, faculty and parents Wednesday evening. Additional school subjects are represented by a wide range of exhibits set up across the building’s first floor.
Some students wave and welcome questions, while others clutch bowls of ice cream. Many stand next to their exhibits, eager to interact with those who pass by.
“This is one of our three open houses,” Principal Julie Louf said. The “Night of Excellence,” she said, is an opportunity for incoming fifth-grade students to see what Breed is all about.
It’s a big transition to middle school, Louf said; it’s important for fifth-graders to feel comfortable meeting with teachers and administrators.
Breed, which has more than 1,300 sixth- through eighth-grade students, produces some exemplary work, Louf said. The night is also a time for the students to show off to their parents.
“They’re very proud; and they should be,” she said. “… We have very high expectations of them, and that’s shown here tonight.”
David Wilson can be reached at email@example.com.