MILTON — Students at Rhodes Elementary School were treated to a taste of the orient on May 24 during a school event.  

The school put on “Art of the Orient,” an all-day festival of food, art, music, and entertainment all inspired by the orient.  

Toni New, art teacher for the school, is credited with planning and coordinating the event.

“There is much effort invested in the festival by a school committee such as: the media is informed; the school lunch staff prepares a meal indicative of the culture; halls and rooms for the presenter are decorated with student made art work; materials needed in six areas are ordered, packed, and placed,” New Said. “Classroom teachers are supplied packets of ideas and/or a lesson to further learning based on the culture to complete in their classroom.”

In addition, New said gifts are often made by students and packed for the day’s event during classes prior to the festival.

She said despite the work it took, she was very pleased with how the festival turned out.

“I am always satisfied when I see students happily engaged, parents enjoying making memories with their child and teachers relaxed,” New said.  

She said she hopes this festival will help enrich student’s lives and help them gain a better appreciation of different cultures and art forms.

“Students involved in the arts and culture of people as compared to themselves help to build understanding that will last a lifetime,” New said. “Ignorance’s of others' culture contributes to fear and builds a foundation of prejudice. It also leads to misunderstanding in dealing with differences in people. Knowledge of other cultures builds connections, compassion and respect for those that are different.”