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Global cultures featured in Columbia’s ‘epic night’

Students from Columbia Elementary School may never travel to Morocco or Beijing, yet they had an international overview of exotic locales with “‘Epic Night Around the World.”

The cultural fair brought “awareness to our diverse population here at Columbia and to celebrate our differences,” fifth-grade teacher Lisa Grice said. Principal Nelson Brown asked Grice to spearhead the event, in which all Columbia teachers participated.

Each grade chose a country to represent. Then, each grade level completed a unit of study on that country. “Our parents and students contributed by volunteering their time, food, costumes and a variety of resources to make our ‘Epic Night Around the World’ a great and enjoyable success,” Grice said.

Africa was the country of choice for kindergartners. First-graders chose to present customs of Mexico. Other featured countries were England by second grade; Italy, third; China, fourth; Turkey, fifth; Brazil, sixth; and Morocco, exceptional unit.

“Our classes and hallways were transformed with artifacts from each country,” Grice said. Visitors enjoyed music, videos, literature, arts and crafts, food, clothing and games. Individuals served as representatives from each country.

By studying cultural diversity, the Columbia students expanded their understanding of technology, reading, writing, music, math and science, Grice said.

Other event organizers were Karen Jump, Cindy Perry, Sage Murine, Mary Dunn, Colleen Johnson, Chantel Callendar, Becky Coudert, Sara Clark and Tonya Porter.

Columbia student Caitlyn Turner liked “the variety of cultural food items and seeing the different examples of toys. I learned that some people from England added dry yeast to their bread to improve the taste.”

Matthew Dennison enjoyed distributing passports to visitors at the cultural fair. “As children ‘traveled’ around the globe, they got their passports stamped by a representative from that country. Africa had really hard donuts but they tasted really good,” he said.

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