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Grade 1 girls showing some attitude on Ukrainian Wear Day


embroidery85 From Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23, students and staff of IHMS celebrated their unique culture and heritage with Ukrainian Week. The theme for this year was “Borscht, Banduras, and Baba’s Stories”.


The grade one class demonstrating their excitement on Monday’s “Blue and Yellow Day”. Click here to view in larger format.


Ukrainian Week activities actually began a few days prior on Wednesday, March 14 with a  Pysanka workshop in the gym for grade 7 and 8 students.


Grade 7 and 8 students designing and colouring their eggs at the pysanka workshop in the gym on Wednesday, March 14


Monday was a NUT Day –  “No Uniforms Today”. Students and staff wore blue and yellow clothing symbolizing the colours of the Ukrainian flag – a blue sky above a brilliant yellow field of wheat. Students also spent time rehearsing for Thursday’s Ukrainian concert.


Students eagerly displaying their colours on “Blue and Yellow Day”


On Monday, and for every day throughout the week, students were able to participate in a daily trivia contest designed to help them to learn about the history of a group of people called the Trypillians. The Trypillians were the ancient people who lived between 4700 – 7400 years ago in present day Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania. The trivia questions (and answers) were in an information sheet sent home with the students. Students entered their answers for a chance to win a daily prize.


Trivia Questions

Monday’s Question: When did the Trypillians live?   Answer: They lived between 4700 – 7400 years ago.
Tuesday’s Question: Where did the Trypillians live?   Answer: They lived in the area of present day Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania.
Wednesday’s Question: What were the Trypillians occupied with?   Answer: They were involved in growing crops, animal herding, mining (for copper and flint), manufacturing pottery, and crafting various metal objects.
Thursday’s Question: Why did the Trypillians move to new settlements?   Answer: Their farming practices depleted the soil of nutrients.
Friday’s Question: What did the Trypillians believe in?
Answer: They were polytheists.



Grade 8 student Brooke B. entering her answer for Wednesday’s trivia contest in the grade 6-8 container. Student answers to the trivia contest were separated into 3 different grade levels which increased the chances of winning a prize!


Also on Monday morning, and on every other morning throughout the week, a Ukrainian story entitled “Baba’s Babushka” was read over the school intercom during opening exercises. Illustrations for this children’s story were projected onto a screen in each classroom while Mr. Picklyk read the story over the school’s P.A. system. The story continued every day during Ukrainian Week.


The title page illustration from “Baba’s Babushka”, the storybook that was read by Mr. Picklyk after morning announcements during Ukrainian Week.


Tuesday and Wednesday were very similar to Monday except they weren’t NUT days. Students continued with their rehearsals for the Ukrainian concert. They also continued to participate in the daily trivia contest.


In addition, on Tuesday afternoon, IHMS welcomed Mrs. Esther Juce, an experienced musician and accomplished bandurist. Mrs. Juce discussed some interesting facts about the bandura before playing a few songs to the students.


 Mrs. Juce playing her bandura to the grade 3 and 4 students on Tuesday afternoon


Thursday, at least in the morning, was very similar to the previous three days of Ukrainian Week. Students continued with their concert rehearsals and the daily trivia contest. In addition, Thursday was another NUT day, Ukrainian t-shirt day.


Students dressed up on Thursday for Ukrainian t-shirt day


Thursday, in addition to being another NUT day, was also the most exciting day of the week because it was the day of the concert. The concert, entitled “Borscht, Banduras, and Baba’s Stories”, was performed twice that day in order to accommodate the schedules of parents who work shift work. As has been the case for years, there was a 1:30 matinee performance in addition to the traditional evening performance at 7:00.


 A few photos from Thursday’s Ukrainian Concert


Friday, March 23 was the last day for the trivia contest, and the last day before the beginning of the Spring break. Thanks to perogy donations from various Ukrainian Catholic parishes, students were able to purchase a delicious perogy lunch served by the IHMS Parents Guild.


Students enjoyed perogies that were donated to the school from various Ukrainian Catholic parishes. The perogies were then cooked and served to the students by parent volunteers. The junior high students enjoyed samples of homemade borscht (beet soup) prepared by Mr. Picklyk’s mother.


When students return to school after the March break, they’ll be participating in a Trypillian inspired craft. Everyone enjoys working on a craft – they’re fun to do, creative, and a great way for artistic expression. Students will have the chance to learn about specific artwork from the ancient Trypillian civilization. Students will also demonstrate their artistic ability by painting a Trypillian design onto a ceramic plate. This activity wasn’t included as a part of Ukrainian Week because of time constraints, but when students return after the March break, every student from K-8 will have the opportunity to decorate their own plate with a Trypillian design.


At 1:00 p.m., students and staff marked the end of Ukrainian Week by attending Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral before being dismissed for spring break. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the IHMS staff and parent volunteers, Ukrainian Week for 2018 was another smashing success!







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