FAISON — Inside the gymnasium at Hargrove Elementary School third-grader Izzy Boone enjoyed learning about the uniqueness of different cultures.
With a smile, the young student learned about the reading customs of students in Mexico during the school’s first Multicultural Celebration. The event allowed the students to learn about the uniqueness of different cultures. Some of the presenters enjoyed sharing food, facts, dancing and items such as quilts.
“I think it’s cool to learn about different cultures and going to different sessions,” Boone said.
Shajuana Sellers, principal of Hargrove Elementary School, said the purpose of the event was to celebrate different cultures within the school. During the year, the school hosts different events for certain segments, but through the inaugural event, Hargrove was able to celebrate all of the cultures at one time.
“It’s important for everyone to embrace all cultures,” Sellers said. “We’re all different and we can learn about the history of everyone. It’s Thanksgiving, so we can be thankful for everyone and their differences.”
The cultures represented included African-Americans, European Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans. Lori Langston, a speech therapist at the school enjoyed showcasing foods from Europe and Africa.
“We thought it was very important for our children to come together and see how we all brought things to this great country that make it a home for all of us,” Langston said. “Our hope is that the kids will leave today with knowledge about the origins of many things that we see and hear about on a daily basis to have a greater respect for each other.”
During the event, members of the NAACP presented information about the organization’s initiatives and African -American culture in the United States. Henry Bell, president of the Hargrove High School Alumni Association, said it was good for people to come out and learn during event.
“They can actually see something way back before their time and see how different other cultures eat, and how they work,” Bell said.
Tonya Blackman, parent volunteer, spoke to students about warm quilts and butter churns, which were very popular in the American frontier.
“Because it’s so easy to go out and buy things, a lot of people don’t hand-make things anymore,” Blackman said. “It becomes a lost art over time.”
Nearby, Denisse Romero and other English as a second language educators, made presentations about Latin cultures. Like many other educators, she believes it’s an important event for the school.
“This is what makes up the school,” Romero said. “We all have different backgrounds and for us to be able to work together, we need to celebrate our differences.”
Meanwhile, Kelli Jacobs, a member of the Coharie Tribe, said it was wonderful opportunity to show students the diversity in their classes — something the didn’t realize at first.
“Most of the cultures in this region are represented within a modern-day classroom,” Jacobs said after showing students Native American customs. “Students are unaware about the history behind their fellow classmates. I think it’s an awesome opportunity for them to see culture.”
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