I am a visual learner. No doubt about that. I learn and retain information so much faster if you just let me look at what I am learning. May be that is the real reason I am doing some "visual blogging postings" on the Cultural Festival. Below you will find pictures of the International Museum my ESL students with their families, friends and some staff members create for the Cultural Festival. For one night, we transformed the gym into a museum and boy, oh boy, do I wish it stays like that all year! I invite EVERYONE to participate in the making of this international museum. For example, my best friend here in Columbus teaches at Beechwood Elementary as well and her family is from Macedonia. Every year, she sets up a display with information, artifacts and family pictures sharing her heritage with all of us. This year, I invited our awesome social worker whose family is from Japan to participate as well. She kindly agreed and she surprised all of us with an amazing display she set up for that night. We (the staff at school) learned so much about her! But the best compliment in all of this was when she told me that she herself learned so much about her grandparents from participating in this project that otherwise she just wouldn't know. I thought, "mission accomplished!." I couldn't be happier.
We are so lucky to have so many different cultures and countries represented at our school. I believe that if you give parents an opportunity to participate and be involve in schools, they would gladly accept. Sometimes it is just a matter of time. Sometimes all it takes is an invitation.