By AV Coordinator on
11/23/2009 6:05 AM
"Culture is a voice that whispers who I am." Like a Greek chorus, the 4th grade students at Bailey's Elementrary School for the Arts & Sciences, recited this line over and over again, the anchor of their collabortive class poem. In small groups or individually, the children recited lines from poems each had written, extolling different aspects of their culture. I heard about the delicious fruits whose juices stream down a child's face in Bangladesh, the importance of futbol in Mexico, and personal images from countries including Austria, Vietnam, Sudan, El Salvador and still many others.
I was also deeply moved seeing how my 4th grader has embraced his Latino culture. Growing up American, I sometimes wonder how much he takes in about his Ecuadorian roots, especially since I, myself, relate more to my US heritage than my parent's ancestry, and have little to pass along to him culture-wise. His choice of images show me that he has absorbed more about Ecuador than I realized, and that it is a point of pride to be able to point to this diversity in his background.
In an article titled "Latino Teens Happier, Healthier if Families Embrace Biculturalism", researchers found that adolescents who maintained "strong ties to their Latino cultures perform better academically and adjust more easily socially." As I read the article, I thought this makes so much sense. Children have ...
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