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TUSTIN : Festival Emphasizes School's Diversity

November 08, 1994|BERT ELJERA

They feasted on tacos and fajitas , sipped horchata , a Mexican drink of rice, sugar, milk and cinnamon, and watched Colombian dancers do the salsa.

Under bright skies, about 300 people gathered Saturday at A.G. Currie Middle School to enjoy music, dance and food from around the globe during the school's annual international festival.

The "Day of the Family" was intended to celebrate the school's recent choice as a Distinguished California School and to showcase its diversity, Principal Dan Brooks said.

A recent survey indicated that the school's 800 students come from 56 countries and speak several languages, making the school the most diverse in the Tustin Unified School District, Brooks said.

"This is wonderful," said Gloria Dickerson, a parent. "Part of the problem is, we don't understand each other. We come from different backgrounds and cultures. It's great to find out about each other."

Dickerson said she is happy that her daughter, Kelly, 12, an eighth-grader, is going to a multicultural school, unlike herself when she was growing up in Philadelphia. "This is almost like going to a foreign country," she said, "and you learn a lot by traveling abroad."

Campus groups such as the Foreign Languages Club and the Just Say No Club sold food, T-shirts and other merchandise to raise money, while the Tustin Police Department, American Red Cross and other agencies operated information booths.

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