(February 6th--Jersey City) The Explore Middle School Parent-Student Association (PSA) hosted the school’s first International Food Night.
In an effort to celebrate Hudson County’s rich culture of foods and bring the Explore family together, the PSA, faculty, staff, and students donated a variety of dishes for an evening of dining and socializing. Mid-year report cards were distributed earlier in the evening followed by faculty, students, and families gathering to eat and watch highlights from the day’s Shark Tank event.
The menu included: empanadas, Swedish meatballs, Jamaican jerk chicken, vegan falafel, hummus, and pita bread, Korean japchae noodle, fresh fruit, samosas, Chinese dumplings in soup, pan de bono, macaroni and cheese, lumpia egg rolls, tiropitta, baked pasta, fettuccini Alfredo, Italian meatballs, rice and beans, pancit noodles, pastelon, pastrami, wings, Moroccan roasted lamb and vegetables, Polish potato pierogis, Polish mushroom and sauerkraut pierogis, mofongo, and much more.
7th grader Madison Chambers often volunteers her time during PSA events and was very excited to be a part of this celebration. “I volunteered to welcome parents and pass out schedules as people arrived. I had a really nice time meeting my classmates’ parents and spending time eating different foods with them. I got to taste a lot of foods from different cultures. I had spanakopita and pasta and both were excellent. And I had Derek Cabrera’s mom’s rice and beans -- they were delicious! I was also excited to have the chance to show off my Shark Tank project. The whole night was successful in my opinion and I am looking forward to doing it all again next year.”
The night was concluded with a free tricky tray that included donated gifts ranging from gift cards to local restaurants and business as well as Target, Macy's, and Amazon and an Asian cooking set. Students and their family members were excited to see who won each item and happily congratulated the winners.
"We are overwhelmed with gratitude for a great day and evening, overall! Being in Explore truly is like being with an extended family and it is obvious why Devan is having a great year. What a tremendous job by faculty, parents, and students and I could not be happier,” Suzanne DeFries, parent of Devan Zitt, 6th grade.
The PSA was very happy with the success of the evening. Everyone in attendance was grateful for the chance to spend time with the Explore family. “This event reflects the abundant diversity of cultures that we enjoy in Hudson County and especially at Explore Middle School. So many parents enjoyed sharing their foods from their culture. This is the beginning of an annual tradition!”
“I could not have been happier with the turn out for International Food Night. The PSA worked hard to make the night perfect and I was proud of all our student volunteers. I want to thank Ms. Velazquez and parents Pam Andes and Mary Tan, especially, for their planning and dedication to this event. This will absolutely be a new tradition at Explore now,” shared Principal Krone.