DeKalb children march in parade

By Cara Donfrio

NIU students and the community of DeKalb will be treated to an unusual kind of parade on Friday afternoon – a parade of flags.

To conclude the fourth-annual International Week, which started Monday, more than 400 DeKalb school children from six schools will march and carry flags starting at 11:45 a.m. on Stadium Drive East.

From there, the children will walk to Lucinda Avenue before stopping at the King Memorial Commons.

They will be escorted by police cars, the Honor Guard and two bagpipe players.

“International Week was founded to recognize every student at NIU and in the community,” said Anne Seitzinger, coordinator of NIU’s administered study abroad programs. “[The parade] has become a little tradition at NIU to involve as many cultures as we can and get the whole community involved.”

Once the children arrive at the MLK Commons, the flags will be put on display and three speakers will give brief presentations.

Deborah Pierce, executive director of NIU’s International Programs, will give a short speech and introduce Provost Ivan Legg and First Ward Alderman Andy Small.

Legg will give a speech titled “Building Bridges Worldwide,” and a proclamation will be read.

“The Proclamation in Observance of International Week at NIU, issued by NIU President John Peters, calls upon all NIU students, faculty and staff to recognize the diverse cultures and nationalities represented in our university and community,” Seitzinger said.

The week concludes with Small and the group of children singing “We Are the World.”

The flags will represent 115 different countries found on NIU’s campus and in the DeKalb community.

Participating schools include Jefferson, Lincoln and Gwendolyn Brooks elementary schools, Huntley Middle School and Saint Mary School of DeKalb. The students of Clinton-Rosette Middle School also will participate, and will make their own flags for the event.