Cultural Diversity Day at Edison

As music representing different cultures wafted through the hallways, students at Edison Intermediate School recently examined how what they study in their classes connects to and celebrates cultural diversity.

Students in world languages and other classes shared family recipes and stories of their heritages as they celebrated the diversity of food while creating a Virtual Recipe Book during Cultural Diversity Day on May 21.

Language arts classes participated in writing activities based on the cultural backgrounds of characters represented in books read during the past year.  Pre-Algebra students researched mathematicians from around the world and played a digital version of Mancala, an ancient game from Eritrea and Ethiopia.  Science classes explored the importance of global scientific collaboration, especially during a pandemic. 

Grade level social studies activities ranged from a history of the Olympic Games to immigration stories to reflecting on vignettes in “Tell Me Who You Are:  Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity” by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi.

“In each subject, students and teachers took time to engage in learning experiences designed to develop our understanding of a variety of diverse cultures and identities,” says Edison principal Dr. Matthew Bolton.  “Assistant principal Crystal Marsh and the Edison School No Place for Hate Committee really went above and beyond in the planning for this day.”

As part of another diversity and inclusion activity, all students also used a paper cutout of a hand to list five characteristics before comparing and connecting with the “hands” of students who share commonalities.

“The activities planned for this day gave the students and staff of Edison the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and make connections in a variety of ways to embrace the diversity that exists within the Edison community,” adds Marsh.

Designated in 2019-2020 as a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League, Edison Intermediate School recently was named a 2020-2021 Gold Star No Place for Hate School by the ADL, which applauded the school’s many engaging activities, along with its “commitment to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.”

Source: Westfield Public Schools