As part of a 21st century learning environment, students need a deeper understanding of the thinking, motivations and actions of people from different cultures and countries in order to appreciate the rich diversity experienced here in the US as well as across the world. Through the study of countries, ethnic celebrations, arts and crafts and cultural differences, we at Turtle River Montessori provide fun and educational opportunities for learning. The highlight of the Awareness Program is our Cultural Peace Festival held annually, in which the classes choose a country to study for a month, collecting and creating artifacts and crafts to display in the room, studying the culture and preparing for a presentation of songs, facts and skits about the country.
Students receive a passport and travel to visit the other classrooms’ countries, tasting food, watching live panoramas and looking at the class’s collection. Additional celebrations include Diwali the Indian Festival of Lights, St. Patrick’s Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Korean New Year, and more. These studies also offer parents an opportunity to share their own cultural heritage in the classroom.