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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.

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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.

Video Transcription:

“I think that the presentation today was an absolutely wonderful way to portray the differences of children through their culture, clothing, food and their language. By getting them to participate directly into the program show itself it made the presentation a lot more interactive. It also made it close to home, they can make connections to it either to their own personal cultures or just getting to see other people portray their cultures. I feel like the kids had a great time with the show today they participated, they were raising their hands they were all so excited to be picked to be part of the answering and part of the show I think that they took a lot away with them from this with being able to recognize that just because we all look different and dress different doesn't mean that we're any different at all on the inside.  I would recommend Bruce in this program. I think that it would show children again the diversity and how we could all, starting at this grade group level, be able to interact with others and show our diversity and how it can bring us together instead of dividing us.”