The diverse day, aptly named Heritage Day, allowed the teachers a chance to don native garb, provide PowerPoint presentations and share interesting artifacts with children in first through fifth-grade throughout the day.
Jose Sanchez, principal at Apricot Valley Elementary, said the event was always a delightful experience for the youth because it taught students to be more aware of the cultural lifestyles associated with fellow Americans and those abroad.
“We have about 30 different cultures represented in the school by the students and even the staff,” said Sanchez. “Heritage day gives our Apricot Valley students an opportunity to learn about the different cultures from around the world. Students not only received information, but many were able to taste delicacies and see artifacts pertaining to those countries. With Apricot Valley being diverse, this day provided a great opportunity to learn about their classmates.”
The concept was brought on by second-grade teacher Beth Salinas, who was very fond of the project and its widespread support throughout the second-grade. Shortly after last year’s success, Sanchez said it was only appropriate to share the idea and concept with other teachers and students on campus.
“It’s become something we’re all looking forward to,” he said. “It’s a great way to learn about the world around us.”
Each teacher’s classroom was transformed into a representation of a specific country, complete with the native flag posted outside each door.
Upon walking in, students could learn and look at models of the pyramids of Egypt, the Incan civilization, and even the history of the Native Americans within America itself by visiting classroom to classroom.
Students also held in tow their own passport, a 22-page notebook of key facts they’ve learned and stickers to connote which country they visited.
One of the more colorful classrooms derived from Salinas herself. The country she identified was the Republic of the Philippines, often greeting the students as they entered with the native language.
She later changed into a native dress alongside Juby Cedo Caches, a parent volunteer who also taught important facts about the Philippines.
“Learning about diversity is important,” said Salinas later that afternoon. “It teaches students to be open to new experiences and better understand one another. It’s been a fun day, and I’m really excited the students and parents are supporting [the program].”
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.