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Esquire Hills celebrates diversity

Esquire Hills Elementary first-graders played and sang songs representing cultures from all over the globe during the school’s Multicultural Night May 14. - Steven DeDual/staff photo
Esquire Hills Elementary first-graders played and sang songs representing cultures from all over the globe during the school’s Multicultural Night May 14.
— image credit: Steven DeDual/staff photo

Multicultural Night at Esquire Hills Elementary School is a colorful, music-filled trip around the world, without ever leaving school.

Amee Coulter, a teacher at Esquire Hills and coordinator of the event, said the event, hosted at the school May 14, was not just for the children who attend the school, but also for teachers and staff as well.

“The event came about as a way for our staff and students to explore and share countries around the world,” she said. “We have so many families from all parts of the world, we wanted to honor and celebrate our school’s diversity.”

The school celebrates in many different ways and many different school programs get involved, especially the music department.

“Our music teacher, Suzanne Burton, also uses Multicultural Night as an opportunity to showcase our music program,” she said. “She intentionally selects songs from around the world depicting a variety of cultures for students to perform.”

The real significance, for Coulter, is that kids actually are engaged in learning rather than passively learning through media.

“Children were able to access countries in ways outside of TV and the Internet,” she said. “They were able to touch, taste and hear to help them learn about countries around the world.”

The night’s activities can often help children put a sense of reality to what they learn about each country instead of it just being words in a book, according to Coulter.

“Countries came alive to students,” she said. “Students explored the school with a passport as they visited classrooms and completed activities like tasting paella in Spain, playing a traditional musical instrument in Puerto Rico, making the flag of India, writing their name in Greek and playing a game in Brazil.”

By participating in these activities, children have the opportunity to earn stamps in their passport, according to Coulter.

“This active learning made students slow down and become engaged in a purposeful activity to gain a deeper understanding of a country,” she said. “We will continue to plan and make this a yearly event at Esquire Hills.”

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