At schools across the country, students with different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds gather to learn and grow. With each school year, educators have the unique opportunity to embrace themes of inclusion and acceptance. By championing the importance of understanding and respect, teachers can both combat discrimination and help build a strong and supportive community.
The Joy of a Cultural Celebration
Hosting an event where students are invited to share different food, music, games and fun facts is a great way to celebrate everyone’s unique backgrounds.
In a webinar hosted by the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), Mags Petkiewicz, principal at Gardner Academy from the San Jose Unified School District in California, spoke to the audience about how her school made it a priority to host an event where students were given the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and share different aspects of their culture.
“We had them create presentations where they were actually teaching about their culture and heritage,” Petkiewicz said. “We had children teaching traditional recipes, how to play different games that were of their community. Additionally, the students shared the different traditions associated with their culture including traditional clothing and music.”
These presentations engaged families and gave students the chance to come together and celebrate the importance of community. “All of this was very exciting to see come together, and the kids were just so proud of what they could do,” Petkiewicz said. “That really brought joy to all of us.”
A Special Announcement
To ensure that your school’s cultural event is a success, communication is key. Fortunately, educators are well-versed in the many ways to reach out and distribute announcements to students and parents alike. Long before the actual day of your event, use the various channels available to you, including email newsletters, print-out flyers and social media posts to promote your event.
If your school shares morning announcements over the PA system each day, this is another great option for spreading the word about your event. Whether you have assigned your students to present on a culture different from their own or ask them to share their own personal background and culture during the event, invite your students to give a brief description during the morning announcements leading up to the celebration. This way, the whole school will hear about the many different countries and cultures that will be represented during the festivities.
We Would Love to Hear From You
Has your school hosted a recent cultural event? If so, we would love to hear how it went! We invite you to share pictures and any tips you might have for other educators interested in doing something similar on our Facebook page!