NOWRUZ PROJECT OVERVIEW
In 2009 PAAIA helped draft and build bipartisan support for the Nowruz Resolution, which passed both chambers of Congress in March 2010. Building on that theme, PAAIA has developed a set of resources aimed at elementary school children.
Nowruz is a happy and joyous celebration in our heritage. PAAIA urges Iranian American parents to reach out to elementary schools and ascertain their interest in learning more about Iran and Nowruz. In a simple way, you will be helping build our presence and image in the communities in which you live and in the next generation of Iranian Americans and Americans, alike.
"The story of the Nowruz Project is rather simple. When my older son was in kindergarten, we were discussing holidays as part of his classroom work one day. I realized that, though the teacher covered Christmas and the Jewish Holidays, there really was no mention or knowledge of Nowruz. For the next five years, I would compile a variety of materials, including Haftseen items, pictures of Iran, Persian music and sweets, and a variety of crafts and take them to my son's school to educate the teachers, students, and parents. These 'show and tell' events were a huge success, both for the attendees and my son, who beamed from ear to ear. By fifth grade every single student in his class knew exactly what Nowruz was and how we celebrated it. I repeated the same process with my younger son's class, again to much enthusiasm. It was during that time that I realized that there were many other Iranian American families similarly anxious to share our culture and heritage with their children, their teachers, and classmates. As no such resources were readily available, PAAIA agreed to assist in developing and making such materials available to the Iranian American community. And this is how the Nowruz Project was born." - Saghi Modjtabai, Executive Director
Presentation & Activities
Our PDF Nowruz Presentation provides an overview of Iran, including its location, geography, and people. It also provides information on Iranian language and religion. Additionally, it includes numerous pages on Nowruz, including materials on Charshanbeh Soori, the Haft Seen, and Sizdeh Bedar. This presentation can be provided to students as a handout or displayed on an overhead projector.
Additional activity pages that are aimed to further enhance a child’s understanding and retention of the information about Nowruz below: