As pieces of a puzzle, students must learn about each other to come together. That was the concept behind the fifth annual multicultural celebration at Fairmont Elementary School this week.
The event, "Pieces of Fairmont," was the culmination of a three-day project in which parents and students gave presentations about their cultural backgrounds, discussed why they or their ancestors came to America, and shared samples of their countries' native foods.
"The idea we want to convey is that we all have a story to tell," Carolyn Ikuta, PTA member, said.
The event was introduced to promote understanding of the different cultures represented in the school. This year, the presentations ranged from a great-grandparent who was sent to an internment camp during World War II for being Japanese, to a family member who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
The event has been included in social studies lesson plans, spurring teachers to include "heritage reports" as part of the curriculum.
The celebration featured a display of several artifacts from different countries and tasting booths for sampling national foods. Children performing different cultural dances also highlighted the evening.
"We want to show the students that they all fit together in the puzzle, but they must learn more about each other to cooperate," Ikuta said.