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Sanfordville “Celebrates Us” during Multicultural Week

on November 17, 2017

On most days, the students of Sanfordville Elementary greet one another with a “good morning.” But this week the school celebrated their students’ varied heritage and culture, so mornings were just as likely to begin with a French “bonjour,” a Ukrainian “dobroho ranku,” or a Japanese “ohayou gozaimasu.”

Throughout the week of Nov. 13, Sanfordville celebrated multicultural awareness, and on Wednesday, Nov. 15, families and friends were invited to Sanfordville for its first-ever Multicultural Night, an evening of song, dance, activities, and sharing.

Four elementary boys put pushpins in a map to show where their family is from

Students pinned their families’ original homeland on a giant map at the “Celebrate Us” event at Sanfordville Elementary School.

The goal, said Sanfordville Principal Johnna Maraia, was to raise awareness, teach acceptance, build pride, and celebrate the community’s diversity.

“Each morning Mrs. Barlow-Layne’s students said good morning in different languages, families worked on heritage projects at home, and foreign exchange students from our High School visited the fourth grade classes,” said Mrs. Maraia.

On Multicultural Night – the event was titled “Celebrate Us” – the family projects were displayed in the “Hall of Heritage.” Kindergartners created a Cultural Flag with cutout dolls, each representing a student’s heritage and decorated with images of flags, traditional clothing, and even recipes. In Grade 4, student’s wrote a postcard home from an imaginary trip to country their family is from.

There was also a photo booth, large world maps on which students pinned flags, and families whirled around the world in the cafeteria to songs and dances from across the globe. Volunteer dance instructors included:

Elementary students hold hands and dance in the school cafeteria.

Students learned traditional Greek, Polish, Italian, and other dances at Sanfordville’s “Celebrate Us” event.

Maxwell Kofi Donkor: African Drumming
Nancy Rosario Layne: Latin Salsa
Maria Bonaccorsi Benson: the Tarantella
Darrah Carr and her daughter, Cavan Byrne: Irish step dancing
Helen Fernandez and family: Greek dancing
Melanie Hogan and family: the Polish Polka
Ethel Hemsi: The Horah
Alison Echevarria: American Folk Music.

Multicultural team members planned, organized, and participated in the evening. The team included: April Wright, Beverley Rice, Brittany Botta, Erin Boyle, Tricia Tilton, Dianne Connolly, Johnna Maraia, Cathy Bloomer, Brittni Troy, Jenny Augelli, Annette Sanchez, Linda Kaplan, Maripat Barlow-Layne, Carrie Ann Greiner, Jamie Harrington, Melissa Sobotor, Megan Howard, Laure Ragans, and Nicole Gujar.


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