Scroggs Elementary Celebrates Its Multicultural Community
The annual Multicultural Night at Mary Scroggs Elementary School (MSES) was scheduled to start at 6:00, the evening of January 30, but well before that time, the hallways, gym and cafeteria transformed into a bustling international food fair, with smells so delicious, the neighbors around Southern Village were surely envious.
Students, parents and staff alike anticipate this much-loved event for weeks, as a way to build community, expand cultural awareness and taste incredible foods. Everyone was invited to cook dishes representing their family heritage, create bright, informative displays and provide games or activities for all ages to enjoy. The primary goal is always to teach students about our world’s diverse cultures, but it’s a good bet that all the adults in attendance learned new facts and tidbits about other homelands beyond their own.
“The Multicultural Fair is an event that we look forward to every year and this year did not disappoint,” said Lisa Albury, English Language Learner Teacher. “It was wonderful to experience all the different cultures and countries we have represented here at Scroggs. Many of the parents I talked to said that they loved seeing how our international students are so excited to share their cultures AND how their classmates were open and excited to see their friends in a different way. I also heard great things about the variety of food samples and activities that each country presented.”
The food offerings included samples of culinary surprises like nuggets of blood sausage from Ireland, German braunschweiger on bread rounds, little cups of Korean japchae and crustless Vegemite sandwiches. Other delights included hot Moroccan mint tea, African American collards and an array of cookies from across Europe.
Fourth grade Teacher, Jeanette Dixon, is a native of Australia, though she has taught at MSES for six years, and calls North Carolina home. Reflecting on her multi-sensory display, she said, “How to represent a whole continent? Why, with a Vegemite sandwich challenge! It's easy, ‘have a go’, just try a bite of Vegemite on bread and ...if you can, then fairy bread is your reward (plus knowing you are adventurous). Fairy bread (sprinkles on bread and butter) was what I grew up having as a treat at birthdays.”
Families, and especially children, found plenty of ways to learn and have fun, even after they had satisfied their appetites. A henna "tatoo" table at the India station was very popular, as were the various activities provided by Korean parents and grandparents: learning how to play the game Jegi Chagi or watching your name depicted in black ink as a Korean name. Many displays included laptops showing videos or interactive games. And back to the food-- for more cookies and sweets from around the world!