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PUSD Multi-Cultural Night Takes Students Around the World

00:00 AM - May 04, 2017

PUSD Multi-Cultural Night Takes Students Around the World

At Placerville Union School District’s (PUSD) annual Multi-Cultural Night in April, the multipurpose room at Schnell School was transformed into an international gathering that greeted several hundred students, educators, families, and community members. The walls were lined with 16 booths that represented countries like Thailand, Germany, Guatemala, and more. Students took passports from table to table to learn interesting information about that particular country, view artwork, instruments, and even taste native snacks. Attendees could also purchase Mexican dishes like tacos, nachos, and burritos for a mere $2.

“This event celebrates different cultures and will welcome over 400 students this evening. Students take their passports to the booths, collect stamps, and can earn prizes based on their school such as extra credit,” Superintendent Eric Bonniksen explained. “This year, we added a healthy and safe community component to include booths hosted by Marshall Hospital’s Cardiology Department and Shingle Springs Health and Wellness. We are glad to partner with local law enforcement agencies during this event as well. The Placerville Police Department is here tonight giving stickers to students, teaching children about their K-9, and allowing them to explore their Humvee. Also,  the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office brought members of their SWAT team, a SWAT vehicle, their K-9, and they are providing free children's fingerprinting by their STAR volunteers.”

Students experienced various facets of each country, as they walked around the room with their families. Erica Briseno is a district parent and hosted the booth for Thailand. As students eagerly read facts on display boards and tasted a variety of snack foods, Erica engaged them with a quiz on the country’s official language and currency. Guatemala’s booth was hosted by a District family, where several different generations displayed artwork for students to explore.

Sixth-degree black belt and owner of Cameron Park and Foothill Taekwondo, Bob Westphal, has a grandson who attends PUSD and hosted the booth for Korea. “This event is a nice way to introduce students to different countries and cultures. It’s a nice way for them to become exposed to other places,” Bob noted.

Various forms of multi-cultural entertainment were sprinkled throughout the event. Foothill Taekwondo provided high-kicking routines and board breaking demonstrations by PUSD students. A.B.'s Dragon House gave a high cardio (or energy) martial arts meets aerobics demonstration, the Markham Middle School Advanced Band played lively tunes from around the world including a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and The Jewelettes from Jammin' Dance and Fitness rounded out the evening with some belly dancing. Event coordinator for the evening and PUSD Special Programs Director, Donna Bazett, addressed the audience, “Families, thank you for coming to our Multi-Cultural Night. We enjoy producing this event each year for our students and hope you enjoy it.”

As he continued to greet students and distribute passports, Eric added, “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this evening’s festivities. I’m proud of our community.”

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