Examining our Multicultural Heritage--Now is the Time

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There has never been a time in the history of our wonderful country when racial tensions were higher, intolerance more in the spotlight, and inherent privilege more examined. You cannot open a news blog, access a television newscast, or even stand in line at a store checkout without being bombarded with images, commentary, and opinions.

What do our children make of this? They also hear and see these comments and images. As adults, we can discuss with some degree of authority, and offer our opinions based on research and facts. Our children may not have the knowledge or the resources to make sense of these often confusing, and sometimes frightening, happenings, opinions, and occurrences. The world they are living in has changed from the one their parents and grandparents, and even their teachers grew up in.

Mind Your Planet has developed a school assembly program that addresses the quickly changing makeup of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups in the United States. Just fifteen years ago, the make-up was vastly different with white descendants of northern Europeans making up nearly eighty percent of the people living, working, playing, and believing in the dreams of America. Today the ratio is closer to 50/50 with people of African, Asian, and Hispanic cultures equal in number to those of northern European descent.

America was developed and built by immigrants. From the first European settlers at Jamestown to the influx of Irish immigrants during the potato famine, to today's immigration of South and Central American people looking for more opportunity for their families, each group has brought with it enormous contributions to our varied culture. People of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific have all added to the richness of the culture that is uniquely American. Understanding the role immigrants have played throughout our history, and continue to play in our current development as a nation, is critical. 

Children need to understand the world in which they are growing up. Celebrating America's Multicultural Heritage is a 45-minute school assembly program that gives children information about their diverse American culture, as it exists today. 

Our goals, as stated on our website, for children participating in this assembly are that they will:

• Gain an understanding of the origins and role of culture

• Experience different cultural expressions of art and music

• See how different cultures approach rites of passage, games, and sports

• Understand the concept of America as the land of immigrants

• Explore how the different cultures help shape everyday American life from the foods we eat to the languages we speak

• Learn some of the major contributions made by men and women of the various cultures

Once your school or group has reserved a performance we will send a detailed overview of the program to the teachers whose students will attend the assembly. The packet includes classroom activities to help prepare children for the presentation as well as for further discussion and understanding.

Our assembly programs, designed with best practices for child learning in mind, use a variety of techniques to captivate children's interest including, storytelling, costumes that some of the children can try on, music, riddles, puppets, and hands-on participation for a group of child volunteers. Some children will be selected to play African drums in front of their friends. A brief video presentation takes children on a visit to places where many of us, and them, or our ancestors, originated.

To learn more about our Multicultural Diversity Program and other assembly topics available contact us, today.  More than 3,000 schools since 1991, have taken advantage of our quality programs for children. A list of references is available on our website. Feel free to contact them to learn what their experience was before booking your program. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Written by : Bruce Segal