Whitehills Elementary: Embrace the World Event

East Lansing boasts tremendous diversity in its public schools. One local K-5 school, Whitehills Elementary School, is taking this to heart during the Valentine’s Day season and celebrating its students’ varied backgrounds with a new event called Embrace the World.

Whitehills is in essence a new school, switching this academic year from a grades 5-6 school to a K-5 format. The student body is made up of children who formerly attended East Lansing elementary schools Red Cedar, Donley, and Pinecrest, as well as schools of choice students. The Whitehills School Association (WSA) is working with teachers, administration, and staff to foster a sense of community, and Embrace the World is just one event to promote unity in the student body.

WSA Vice President Joy Campbell, who is co-chairing the event with WSA Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator Kimberly Steed-Page, says, “We’re so excited about this new event. We have families getting involved who haven’t yet had a chance to take an active role in school activities, so it seems to be striking a chord in the school community.” Families of Whitehills children have volunteered to host tables as participants move from area to area getting their “passports” stamped and learning about the ways diversity can be celebrated. Whitehills principal Andrew Wells adds, “We are excited about the opportunity to celebrate the cultures that represent our families at Whitehills. This event will enhance our school family culture and is an outstanding indicator of the remarkable multicultural environment we enjoy.”

This event will enhance our school family culture and is an outstanding indicator of the remarkable multicultural environment we enjoy.

Andrew Wells

Tables will showcase information about various countries or other areas of diversity. Co-chair Kimberly Steed-Page says, “The exhibits we have so far range from Anishinaabe culture to Zimbabwe – it’s truly A to Z and lots in between, including Black History Month and tables from five continents! We’re so happy to have families from so many backgrounds involved.” Other aspects of the event will include a short program and a musical performance by Whitehills second graders, who will play a Mexican folk song under the direction of music teacher Melissa Sigh.

With sponsorship from Michigan State University’s Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) and Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), in addition to the WSA, the event is free to all participants and promises to be an enjoyable evening of globally-inspired fun.

This year’s event will take place on Thursday, February 12 from 6:00-8:00pm at Whitehills Elementary School, with a short program at 7:15pm.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/312936835568697/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular