Vaughan students and families show and tell about their heritage
Posted on 10/18/2019
Multicultural parade featuring students in traditional clothingHallways and classrooms were packed at Vaughan Elementary School to celebrate Multicultural Back to School Night. Students reported to their homeroom with parents and family in tow. Once there, the children participated in fun learning activities, giving their parents the opportunity to get to know their teacher and become familiar with the classroom environment.

Homeroom teachers issued each student a passport requiring them to visit key resource rooms throughout the school. With that, they navigated the building visiting the student’s afternoon teacher, library, computer lab, and Parent Resource Center where a Title 1 annual meeting was held. Along their journey they took in elaborately decorated dolls created by students. Each doll was dressed in traditional clothing representing a variety of cultures from around the world. It is here that the diversity of the school and its community was clearly evident.

Paper dolls on wall“Our Multicultural Back to School Night demonstrates a clear commitment and partnership between the staff and our families. Parents move beyond the typical role of attendee and share in the responsibility for planning and designing our celebration. Through this alternative approach, we have seen dramatic increases with attendance and participation of our families during school and have established bonds of trust and respect that support our students,” said Vaughan Principal Mark Boyd.

With all the locations visited and the pages of their passport stamped, students received a ticket for a family food-tasting in the Wildcat Café (cafeteria). A variety of foods from 16 different nations were served by parent participants and enjoyed by all. "Yesterday, I learned about Mexico. I liked being able to eat pupusas because of the cheese!” said student Jayden Lozano. Lukas Sanabria added, "I liked coming to my classroom to show my mom everything. I liked the pupusas from El Salvador because they were chicken and cheese!”

Laila Adam's mother shared this sentiment with school liaison Marleny Pastora, “Our Multicultural night was a great experience for everyone! It was well organized, ran smoothly, and maintained a fun atmosphere throughout the entire event! I was so happy to be one of the Wildcat parents to participate. It was a pleasure to be able to do something for the students and their families here at Vaughan. We will definitely be back next year!”

Vaughan families in cafeteriaAdditional activities included getting a cool henna tattoo in the art room, dancing to folk music in the gym, and finding your name in the “We Are One” fingerprint poster in the main hallway. A Fashion Parade concluded the evening as families gathered around the bus loop. Students, teachers, and some parents strolled past, grouped by nation, wearing spectacular traditional clothing. It was a scene remindful of the opening of the Olympic Games with a student proudly leading their delegation holding a printed representation of the nation’s flag.