Student and Parents Come Together at IB Grateful Gathering

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  • Athena Wang ’21 plays the piano near the end of the gathering. Wang was one of the four students to play the piano, along with Nikhil Karnam ’20, Sonny Stenson ’20, and Yifan Sun ’20.

  • Students and parents gather at different tables to chat. Food was provided by parents for attendees to eat as they socialized.

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As Thanksgiving spirit started to permeate the school hallways, International Baccalaureate (IB) students bonded at the third annual IB Grateful Gathering on Friday, Nov. 15. The potluck event, organized by the Westwood High School IB Parent Association (WHS IBPA), was well attended by students and parents alike. 

“The faculty, students, and students’ parents and siblings are all invited so it is basically a family gathering,”  WHS IBPA President Ms. Ruma Singh said. “We do this event around Thanksgiving as a way of being grateful for what we have and are blessed with.”

While waiting for the food and cafeteria to be prepared, IB students from all grades socialized on the football field. Various activities such as frisbee, kickball, and badminton took place across the field, with large groups of newly acquainted people participating and interacting. 

“I liked the fact that everybody gets to meet each other in person and socialize instead of always being on their phone,” Maimuna Masud ‘22 said. 

Following the outdoor activities, the cafeteria was opened to let the guests in. Several tables with floral decorations were arranged around the room, and tables were set up in the choir room to hold the food brought by the families. Traditional thanksgiving food such as turkey and pumpkin pie were served, alongside family dishes such as curry and green bean casserole. Four students, Nikhil Karnam ‘20, Sonny Stenson ‘20, Yifan Sun ‘20, and Athena Wang ‘21, played the piano to further improve the ambience. 

“I love this part, having dinner with music.” IB parent Ms. Christy Higdon said. “We get to [connect with people] and chat.”

Students and parents mingled and talked over dinner, often with people that they had not met before. With the diverse attendees and food, the gathering allowed the IB community to create stronger relationships between the members.

“The event started a few years ago as something like a picnic,” IB Coordinator Ms. Childress said. “It’s a night for parents and students in the community to meet each other and bond.”