Multicultural Day enriches students

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By Amy Ryffel-Kragh

When students from Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School joined hands Friday to sing “It’s a Small World,” there was a new awareness in their voices.

They had just concluded a week-long study of 30 of the world’s countries that culminated in the school’s second annual multi-cultural day where they shared, in costume and song, what they had learned.

Tiffany Taylor, guidance counselor, said that in addition to allowing the children to discover different cultures and customs, the project ultimately teaches the students tolerance for those of other nationalities.

In addition, Taylor said it shows the children that there are other countries different from the United States.

For a week, each class studied a country. They learned about the foods, songs, flags, traditions, clothing and jewelry.

“It’s real research-based,” said Beverly Stadinger, guidance counselor.

Student Kristina Concepcion studied Italy in her second-grade class. She learned that in Italy the people eat pizza, bread and lasagna. She also learned about the “Italy dance.”

Concepcion’s twin sister, Michelle, is in Bethany Getz’s class and covered the country of Jordan in her class.

In addition to learning about the culture and foods, Getz taught her students about the reasons the people of each country dress as they do, because of their modesty and the desert conditions.

Parent Mobeena Budram helped to teach her daughter’s second grade class about her native land of Guyana.

Budram prepared foods like rice, chicken, chickpeas and apple tarts to give the students in Patricia Creekbaum’s class a better idea of the cuisine in Guyana.

Burram said that through the assignment her daughter, Kristine, learned more about her parents’ homeland, such as the meaning behind the colors of the flag.