Two years ago Mary Winayalnaty arrived in Socorro as a foreign exchange teacher from India. Currently teaching and tutoring at Parkview Elementary, “Mrs. Adina” came up with the idea of creating a culturally diverse lesson plan for students during the 2018-19 school year. This culminated in the end of year International Knowledge Day which took place on May 20 at Finley Gym.
“I wanted to create a program to help promote cultural diversity for the students,” Winayalnaty said. “After speaking with Cindy here we thought this would be a good opportunity for the community to learn about other ethnicities and traditions from outside of the United States. Hopefully the parents and other members of the community see what the children have learned. The world is becoming more of a global culture every day.”
Once the idea of doing the diverse presentation was formed the Socorro Recreational Facility was contacted about doing the end of year showcase. Cindy Rivera and her staff were more than happy to provide the Finley Gym exercise and yoga space with all citizens welcome.
“The program is to teach kids about different parts of the world,” Rivera said. “With teachers and friends of the community from places like India and China and Africa and France we thought that we would show the parents all of the culture these kids are getting. When they approached us about doing this it was clearly a no brainer. Not only are these kids and parents learning about these groups of different individuals but my team here is as well which is great for all involved.”
Presentations from India, China, France, Germany, Japan and Africa were explored. Educators showcased traditional attire worn by Parkview students. Music and yoga activities took place with home cooked food from different countries was also served.
Winayalnaty presented a portion of the International Knowledge Day mission statement.
“As you know the United States is a free country and provides opportunities from people from different cultures. To share knowledge of different programs which is why we have created this program. In order to build communities that are powerful enough to create significant change we need a large number of people working together.”
“Each cultural group has unique strengths and perspectives that a larger community can benefit from. We need a wide range of ideas, customs and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life. Culture is a strong part of people’s lives.”
“It influences their news, values, hopes, loyalties, worries and fears. When we are working with people and building relationships with them it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures. An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand and hand with a just and equal society. The more culture children are exposed to the more accepting they are of children different from them.”
If you are interested in your young ones becoming involved or would like to support cultural diversity in the Socorro youth contact Parkview Elementary or Activities Director Cindy Rivera for more information.