World Languages and Cultures faculty interacted with the local community offering an evening of cultural engagement at Marvin B. Smith Elementary School.
During Smith Elementary’s Global Week, almost 100 children and their families walked through cultural tables created and led by seven Elon professors representing their respective countries: Federico Pous, Argentina; Ricardo Mendoza, Colombia, Shereen Elgamal, Egypt; Kristin Lange, Germany; Ketevan Kupatadze, Republic of Georgia; Mena Marino, Italy; and Mayte de Lama, Spain.
In addition, Rod Salazar and Misako Matsuishi-Scott, staff members at Irazú Coffee, and Elon student Manaka Furusho hosted two cultural tables representing Costa Rica and Japan, their countries of origin.
Furthermore, Deanna Dick and her husband provided the opportunity to learn about China and Tanzania, where they lived abroad for many years.
At the event organized by Mayte de Lama, children engaged with these cultural ambassadors and learned about musical instruments, coffee plants, mate tea, Manchego cheese, alfajores, baklava, and other desserts, fauna, volcanos, pastimes, and daily routines for children in other countries (typical board games, soccer, local artifacts), among other topics. They also had the opportunity to have their names written in characters from different languages (Arabic, Japanese and Georgian) as well as practiced Spanish and other languages.
Marvin B. Smith has recently been a national showcase school for two consecutive years for capturing kids’ hearts. They have certainly captured the World Languages and Cultures’ faculty hearts because we hope to bring back this educational and fun experience next year.