Spreading Tolerance Through Understanding in December

The month of December, with all its varied holidays, can be an incredibly difficult time for students who follow different religious or cultural traditions than others in their school. Young children may struggle to understand why that child's family is so "different," while older children will wrestle with the implications of the cultural differences and may experience bullying as a result. When you have a diverse student body, one of the first steps to avoiding issues is developing and enhancing understanding.

December's Holidays: A Great Point for Springing Off

December is filled with a rich array of diverse holidays that reflect a variety of cultures. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Rahmadan all occur in the latter days of December. They encourage a similar celebration of family, religion, and culture, but they are celebrated very differently. As the new year arrives, it is celebrated very differently in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan than it is in America. 

The children throughout your school may never have the opportunity to celebrate these holidays with people who are part of that culture, but they can expand their cultural awareness and learn more about the diversity that fills our world. The holidays, with their recognizable traditions and familiar, comforting associations, are an excellent way to begin conversations that can span the rest of the school year. Kids have an amazing ability to understand what is different, especially once it's explained to them. This understanding leads to tolerance and compassion in the face of diversity throughout your student body.

Expanding Students' Horizons

Many students may never be exposed to the full depth of other cultures in their own homes. Giving them access to presentations like ours gives them the opportunity to soak in, not only stories, but a full sensory experience that allows them to see, hear, and even touch artifacts of other cultures. The show engages students in a variety of ways, including:

  • Music
  • Costumes
  • Video
  • Storytelling

Through these practical methods that help every student come closer to the broad cultural offerings that are part of their world. At home, they can learn only what their parents can teach them. While they're at school, however, they have the opportunity to learn more than they ever dreamed possible.

Why a Holiday Assembly?

Bringing your students together for the holidays is part of the tradition in many schools. You want to offer them opportunities to celebrate together, whether it's in the form of a classroom party or a school-wide celebration. This time of year, the festive, giving atmosphere is more likely to breed acceptance and wonder than any other time of the year. By bringing your students together in a holiday assembly, you open the door to a variety of lesson plans about diversity throughout the school year as well as encouraging discourse about students' own cultures. The way a holiday is celebrated in one home might be vastly different from the way it's celebrated in another, but through the Diverse December Holidays presentation, students will learn more about how to accept and embrace those traditions.

By integrating these concepts into your curriculum throughout the season and for the rest of the year, you will create students who are more tolerant, understanding, and willing to embrace and explore the varied traditions of other cultures. Opening their eyes to this rich diversity is the perfect gift for your students this holiday season. If you're ready to schedule a presentation for the students in your school or have more questions about the assembly we're offering, contact us today. We'd love to bring our message of diversity and inclusion to the students in your school.

Written by : Bruce Segal