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Rockland’s Esten School to Celebrate Student Culture at First-Ever Diversity Fair

ROCKLAND — Principal Marilyn Smith is pleased to announce that the R. Stewart Esten Elementary School will be holding its first-ever Diversity Fair on Monday, Oct. 21, as part of the school’s programming for Global Diversity and Awareness Month.

The event will take place in the gymnasium during the school day for students and at 6 p.m. for students and their families.

“Though the majority of our students are multi-generation Americans, our school community is also represented by 21 different countries,” said Principal Smith. “Our students speak many different languages, having parents born in a variety of foreign countries. The Diversity Fair will be a celebration of the cultural, educational and social diversity of our students and their families.”

As part of the fair, students and their parents will have the opportunity to share information about the countries they are from, as well as their family dynamic.

Students will be bringing in flags of their native countries to be hung up in the gym, will make displays with photos from their home and will be coloring fish of different colors to show off at the event.

“The colorful fish will be displayed to promote the idea that even though we’re all different fish, we all swim in the same pool,” Principal Smith said. “We also hope to showcase Cape Verdean dancers, food from different countries and look forward to parents showing off their native clothing.”

Principal Smith said the Diversity Fair fits in well with the school’s overall goal of tolerance and acceptance of all students.

“We participate in the Safe Schools program to help protect and advocate for our LGBTQ population, and we routinely take part in trauma training,” Principal Smith said. “We also embrace the many different learning styles of our students. The Diversity Fair will be a chance not only to highlight the different cultures of our students, but to capture their other diverse strengths as well.”

Several students and their families have already confirmed participation in the Diversity Fair, and Principal Smith said she will be reaching out more families this week as well.

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