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Columbia goes intercontinental for Multi-Cultural Night

For Multi-Cultural Night, Columbia Elementary School second-graders used a map of North America to show connections from around the world with Madison. (CONTRIBUTED)
For Multi-Cultural Night, Columbia Elementary School second-graders used a map of North America to show connections from around the world with Madison. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – All areas in Columbia Elementary School’s building opened to global venues for students to experience faraway traditions during Multi-Cultural Night on Feb. 2.

Columbia Principal Jamie Hill said the event “celebrates diversity in our school and the Madison City Schools district. Each student, teacher and PTA member participated in this event in developing an awareness of diversity.”

Columbia Elementary PTA members hosted the annual event for the entire study population.

Volunteers transformed different areas of the building into regions from the world’s seven continents. They collected and displayed artifacts and momentos that school parents had gathered during travels.

Columbia parents who are native residents of Scotland, Australia, Japan and Brazil added authentic possessions to exhibits. Each grade level was assigned a specific country. Columbia students created artwork and wrote reports for those locales.

Second-graders assembled displays for the North American continent. “They focused on the globe and the connections that we have across it,” Hill said.

Kindergarten classes documented areas in South America by using a Brazilian theme. In their wing of the school, sixth-grade classes displayed exhibits for Asia and the Far East and presented a karate exhibit and Japanese translations. Volunteers translated guests’ names into the Japanese equivalent.

“Parents from Australia spoke to families” to help third-graders in their tribute to the ‘Land Down Under,’ Hill said.

For their depiction of European life, Columbia fourth-grade classes served treats associated with Poland and showed a kilt and golf equipment for Scotland. Fifth-graders wore African clothing and dress to represent that continent.

Even the frozen land of Antarctica had its homage. First-graders create pictures of penguins and “gold penguins like goldfish,” Hill said.

Minorities account for more than one third of the school population in Madison City Schools. “We have 52 different languages spoken in the homes of our students,” district public relations manager John Peck said.

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