Gowanda High School students donate time to Inter-Cultural Enrichment program at Parkdale Elementary
Parkdale Elementary's new Intercultural Enrichment (ICE) Program will feature a number of occasions for learning through visits from representatives from Gowanda High School. The visits began on October 27, with several students, accompanied by their teachers, as representatives of the Seneca Nation culture.
The students are fourth-year Seneca language students, and taught preliminary lessons in pairs, displaying their tribal names and personal information. In 40-minute lessons and Q & A time, they fielded questions from the younger students, and introduced other words from their endangered language in storyboards.
The Seneca language program at Gowanda High School is an effort to keep the language alive. Students learned that "sgëno'" (pronounced similar to sgay-noh) is a friendly greeting, and "niyawë" (pronounced similar to nee-yah-wenh) means "thank you." The Seneca Nation's own name is Onöndowága,' meaning "People of the Great Hill."
Co-sponsored through Gowanda Schools and a grant from the East Aurora Elementary PTO, the Seneca language students will return four more times during the school year: December 7, March 3, April 12 and May 26. The visits will highlight traditional Seneca games and toys, songs, dance, and music, and the May event will feature a celebration for families.
PTO officer Niki Krieger is coordinating the program in conjunction with Principal Klimchuck.