On the evening of May 20, Mary Marek Elementary became a melting pot of cultures to represent the diversity that shapes Alvin ISD schools. This school, which is perhaps one of the most diverse schools in the district, with representation of over 25 different languages, was the perfect stage for an International Festival.
The school gym was the place where students and their families were able to showcase their cultures. Families were invited to display food and artifacts as well as to perform on stage. There were over 14 different countries represented.
Mrs. Vivian Cao (parent) and 3rd grade teacher Dana Yesland, teamed up to coordinate this event while the whole Marek family; from teachers and parents to students and custodians pitched in to help make the night a successful team effort.
“The diversity of our school population encourages this fun filled evening of exchange and understanding of our cultures. Families of different ethnicities and cultures open their arms to invite students of other cultures to perform traditional dances and songs with them. The outcome is really a beautiful melting pot on stage. What better way than sharing through food, displays, traditional dress, maps, and of course our students’ performances to bring us together as a community,” said Yesland.
“My parents are both from Pakistan. This festival helps me express my culture. The dance I performed allowed me to show who I am. I am very thankful for my mom and for all the moms of the girls in my dance group because they worked hard to help us with the performance. It took a long time to get it together, but practice makes perfect,” commented 4th grade student, Inaya Nomani.
In addition, as part of the Texas Standard Performance Project, 4th grade students had to research different countries to compare Texas to the world.
“ I have been participating in this festival since second grade. It means a lot to me because I am very proud of my Indian background. I also enjoyed my research because it helped me learn more about India, Texas, and other cultures in the world,” added 4th grader Sanhya Mahesh.
For the school principal, Kristal Hawk, the festival highlights the cultural diversity of the school while students, parents and staff members learn a little more about the rich cultural diversity that exists in the school community.
To stay informed of all of the great things occurring in Alvin ISD visit www.alvinisd.net.