Inverness Elementary School recently hosted Family Culture Week, where the entire school and community celebrated the variety of cultures represented at the school. From Poland to Ethiopia, Cuba to Japan, Canada to Siberia – IES students represented over 20 different countries!
This year’s theme was “The Story of Inverness.” Third grade classes created coat of arms to represent both their unique family history and current personal characteristics. Second grade classes studied quilts from various cultures and created their own classroom quilts. First graders completed independent and group research projects on chosen countries and created presentations. Kindergarteners worked with their parents to create personal quilt squares representing their family. Everyone in the school community was involved!
Stories were presented by adult LEAPS (Learning English and Parenting Skills) participants to the entire student body during the week. The adult participants are parents of students in the Shelby County School System whose first language is not English. A yearly objective of the class is to practice English in meaningful and relevant ways. One way they do this is through Family Culture Week by sharing stories from their childhood and culture through vivid exhibits and detailed explanations.
All students at Inverness Elementary School were able to rotate through presentations that allowed them to compare their own culture to one they may not be familiar with. This year students learned about the importance of a New Year in China, soccer in Germany, celebrations in Mexico, school culture in Japan, and clothing customs of Poland. In addition to learning about different cultures, the culture fair offered an appreciation for and an understanding of other cultures. The students of IES realized they too have a story to share.