Emily Ammerman is a senior at H.H. Dow High School in Midland, Michigan, and is the founder of Persian Cultural Awareness Day at her school. At H.H. Dow High, the entire junior class reads and studies the graphic novel "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, which is an autobiography about Satrapi's childhood living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Being of Persian ethnicity, Emily wanted to provide her classmates with a different positive perspective of Iranians that is normally not portrayed. During her junior year of high school, she presented Persian culture to three IB Language and Literature classes. The presentation was so well received and eye opening for her classmates that the following year, she was asked to present again to the entire junior class of over 300 students; expanding the content, information and presentation length into Persian Cultural Awareness Day at H. H. Dow High School. Emily's presentation included topics such as holidays, weddings/music/dance, clothing, food, architecture and Persian hospitality. The students were able to see samples of art, try Persian food, write their names in Farsi, and see a full haft-seen table, which is displayed during the Persian New Year. Working with the Midland Area Community Foundation and Great Lakes Ice Cream, a local ice cream store in Midland, rosewater ice cream was served as a special treat for the students. Persian Cultural Awareness Day is a full day event so that all 11th grade students can participate, and it is now a part of the IB Language and Literature curriculum and budget. Emily will record her presentation for future Persian Cultural Awareness Days in the years to come.
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