Heritage Day


Sixth graders Lucas Yates and Nathan Crockett celebrate Heritage Day with a delicious lunch.

As the Benjamin Middle School wrapped up the first half of the second quarter, the sixth graders celebrated their annual Heritage Day, an experience that lets students learn about how their ancestors traveled to America. The event was organized by sixth-grade teachers Mrs. Chrissie Ferguson, Mrs. Denise Ponchock, and Mrs. Allison George. The sixth-grade students researched their ancestors leading up to the event for many weeks. During the celebration, students feasted on foods that related to their culture.

Heritage Day is the culminating event at the end of the sixth grade Coming to America unit. As part of the unit, students research an ancestor who immigrated to America, and they step into that ancestor’s shoes,” says sixth-grade English teacher Mrs. Ponchock.

This year, the “Coming to America” project was held in half of the gym. Students were able to bring their parents to join the celebration. 

Heritage Day is important because it allows students, parents, and teachers to come together and celebrate our ancestral cultures and ethnicities,” says Ponchock.

Image of a sixth graders journal.

Students also made a quilt that symbolically represents themselves. This project combined the arts with English.  They worked together with the Fine Arts program to represent something that the students stood for. The sixth grade found cloth that held meaning to them, and they combined the cloth to make a quilt. Both the sixth grade and the arts program enjoyed this event.

In the student’s English classes, sixth-grade students made journals that went into detail about their ancestors and their journey to America. Sixth graders grasped what life was for their ancestors during their voyage to America. The students also had to make a family crest that represented what their ancestors did for a living. They could share the journals that they made in class with their parents during the celebration.

According to a poll, 50% of sixth graders’ ancestors originated from Europe.

However, some students came from the continent of Africa. 

“My ancestors came from the country of Nigeria,” says sixth grader and Middle School treasurer Daschle Searcy, who was proud to have his ancestors originally from Nigeria.

This year, Heritage Day was more exciting than ever.