Winter Cultural Highlights

We are finishing our annual Winter Cultural Highlights presentations. Every family and staff member in our program makes one. The total is almost 200 families and staff members. Each presentation lasts about 15-20 minutes. They share with their child’s learning group some aspects of their family history, heritage, culture, and/or daily routines. They present in various ways. They include pictures, artifacts, songs, dances, clothing, food, and stories. We learn more about each other, and children and the rest of us enjoy the rich array of diverse people and cultures in our program. We document all of the sessions and keep them for continued reflection, enjoyment, and extended learning.

Recent examples in the Mighty Oak Classroom were:
James’ family brought in good luck oranges, red envelopes, books, and a lion head for Chinese New Year. All of the children tried on the lion head. They read all of the books and opened the envelopes with money in them. The next day, they ate all of the oranges.
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Marcello’s family introduced the children to an Italian Snake Dance. The dance is about a snake who is missing its tail. The children made a long line and became part of a snake. Then, they went all around the classroom.
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Our infants are building a strong foundation for early literacy skills at a young age.  The very basics are being practiced throughout the day: holding a book, turning its pages, and watching their teachers reading from left-to-right.  They are beginning to understand how books “work,” how they connect the reader, and how they relate to the listener when read out loud.  When a book is read to them, the infants are developing the cognitive skills required to connect sounds into words and words into meaning.  When they listen to the reader’s changing tone, rhythm patterns, voice inflection, and repeating phrasing, they are learning how language is formed and an essential element of communication.  Infants who are exposed to books, reading, and story-telling at an early age are more likely to develop strong communication skills and a love of books as they get older.  Learn more about our Infant Program.