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March 3, 2004 > Chadbourne Elementary Celebrates Cultural Unity

Chadbourne Elementary Celebrates Cultural Unity

by Saira Siddiqui

The fourth annual Chadbourne Elementary School Unity Fair, held February 23 - 26, has been hosted by parent volunteers in order to promote respect for the many cultures present at the school. Sponsored by the Chadbourne Faculty and Families Association, with assistance from The Four Winds Growers who donated plants as decorations, this year's festivities were fun for all.

Each year, the Unity Fair is kicked off with an assembly which explains various cultures that will be presented at the fair. This helps students to look beyond their own background. Dances from all over the world are performed during the assembly - this year, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Brazilian, Native American and United States cultures were represented. Each country is assigned a booth and follows the general theme of the event. Last year, "Stamps and Coins" were highlighted while this year, each country displayed their "Historical Monuments" along with other cultural facts and information.

Ms. Reena Rao, a parent volunteer, said, "It was a lot of work for the parents, but I'm glad that the teachers and students both enjoyed it." She went on to say that next year they may expand the program to include more parent volunteers and a larger number of countries. Ms. Connie Kellog, a second grade teacher at Chadbourne, said she was pleased that the festivities had an academic side as well "They [the parents] were extremely well organized, and integrated vocabulary and writing about what they had learned into the whole experience. The booths were very hands-on, and students had many opportunities to ask questions."

Principal Ms. Tess Melendez,, was also quite happy with the fair. "It's an awesome program that parents have worked so hard to put together. It was phenomenal...I enjoyed it very much. When I asked the children what they thought, they all said they enjoyed it and learned a lot about other countries. The teachers were also quite impressed."

Chadbourne's Unity Fair committee is already working on the Unity Fair for next year. The theme in 2005 will be "Indoor Board Games." It should be a fascinating festival!

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