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Featured / News / Virgin Islands / March 14, 2015

It was a sight to see. Local bounty and beverage of every kind stretching from one end of the school’s spacious auditorium to the next.

Happy children and parents filling up on everything from roast pork and seasoned rice, to guava tarts and soursop drink.

This was the scene that unfolded at St. Croix’s Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School’s annual “Taste of PBL” event held Friday to commemorate the school’s joint celebration of Black History and Virgin Islands History months.

But, before the buffet-style meal was shared at around 1 p.m., the day began at 9 a.m. with a special program.


A wide variety of dishes offered to attendees at “Taste of PBL” on March 13

“Every grade level, along with the faculty and the staff, we did some kind of performance on stage, whether it be a poem, a skit, a dance. We did a dance around the May Pole, we had jump rope and traditional dances like quadrille,” explained sixth-grade teacher, Mervelle Sage.

Sage went on to say that some teachers even did a fashion show featuring original outfits.

Then, it was time to eat. Sage explained that the extensive menu of food and drink was all provided by parents and teachers.

“The parents were invited to bring different dishes by grade level,” she explained.

Kindergarten provided local juices; first grade provided baked goods in the “Crucian Bakery”; second grade did desserts; third grade provided starches, such as rice and stuffing; fourth grade brought in local appetizers; fifth grade provided in local soups; and sixth grade supplied various meats like chicken, salt fish and others. The gifted and talented class also supplied a variety of food items.

peale b. coal pot

Exhibit of coal in coal pot used for cooking featured in Pearl B. Larsen Elementary’s cultural display on March 13

“I mean, you name it, we have it,” Sage said.

Another feature of the educational day was an expansive cultural display arranged in the school’s front office area. There, students were introduced to “old-time” items from St. Croix’s past, such as a coal pot, clothes iron, and kerosene lamps, among many others.

Also on display was a large variety of local plants, including the territory’s official flower, Ginger Thomas, as well as herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Violet Conner, a retired teacher who provided many of the items for the display, said it was important for students to be exposed to these kinds of experiences in order to keep local culture alive.

Below, enjoy a photo gallery of “Taste of PBL” and Pearl B. Larsen’s cultural display:

Cynthia Graham

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