New Multi-Cultural Celebrations Debut at Wyandot, Liberty Early Childhood Schools

New Multi-Cultural Celebrations Debut at Wyandot, Liberty Early Childhood Schools
Two of Lakota’s early childhood schools – Liberty and Wyandot – debuted their first-ever family multicultural celebrations last month. Between both schools, hundreds of families participated in the festivities.

“We have so many different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that we thought it would be interesting and enlightening for our students and their families to experience all the different cultures that make up our school,” said Liberty ESL teacher Michelle Dembicky, who helped lead the event.

Across Lakota, this is a growing tradition, especially considering the variety of cultural roots that Lakota families represent. After all, Lakota students represent more than 40 different native languages. About 26 percent of students district-wide identify with a multicultural background.

At Liberty and Wyandot, each school tried to capture its unique cultural mix, asking their families to share with the school community information and artifacts from their native country. Visitors to both events were given a passport to travel around the world. Collectively, both schools featured nearly 30 different countries. 

“When it comes to cultural understanding, there’s a huge wealth of information our own families have to share,” said Wyandot Principal Mary Brophy. “We’re always looking for different ways to get parents into the school and involved in the learning process. In this case, parents filled the role of both teachers and students, some doing the sharing and others doing more of the listening and learning.”

Over the years, Creekside and Shawnee have established similar traditions for celebrating the diversity of their families. Shawnee hosts an evening in December called “Holidays around the World.” Creekside hosted its second annual “Travel Our World” event just this week.