Posted by: Kristin W | May 19, 2011

Disappointing…but still cool

Let me start by saying that I love my kids’ elementary school.  My kids are getting a fabulous education AND they are exposed to a lot of diversity.  Today was the annual opening ceremonies for the Olympics (their version of field day).  Each class picks a country, learns about it (to varying degrees, I’ve discovered), and represents them in the parade.  Each grade level also performs a dance, which is mostly completely unrelated to anything.  This morning was the big event and it was fabulous.  They even released pigeons (I guess they are cheaper than doves) after the singing of the national anthem.

So, what could be wrong with such a celebration of culture?  Africa was missing.  I mean, not totally, but mostly.  Morocco and Egypt were a part.  I didn’t see any other African countries.  No Ethiopia.  No Democratic Republic of Congo.  Not even South Africa.  And this isn’t because I didn’t offer.  I told both my kids teachers at the beginning of the year about our plans and offered to bring in food, do activities, and help however I could.  But no one wants to pick a non-glamorous country.  I get it.  It’s hard to do lesson plans on extreme poverty, lack of drinking water, and substandard medical care.  But what message does that send to kids?  Those countries aren’t important?

I know that some teachers read this blog.  Please don’t take this as a criticism.  I’m so glad the school as a whole participates in this event and assists kids in seeing the bigger world around them.  I just wonder what my future kids will think when they don’t see their entire continent represented in the parade.

So as not to be a total downer, I will leave you with some photos and videos of the dances from this morning.  The kids worked really hard and did a great job.  

E’s class was Brazil.

S’s class was Switzerland.

E’s dance:

S’s dance:



  1. Oh my goodness, the dances made me smile. Definite material to bust out on the wedding day. I feel the disappointment too. But even just voicing your thoughts helps I think. Maybe next year will include Africa in some way.

  2. I understand. My oldest is going to a half day summer camp program, and each week is a country. Due to my schedule he will miss Africa. When I read the description though I didn’t figure he would even realize it was Africa.. seriously.. nothing like he knew.

    On another note, I was looking at jungle wall decals for Big A’s room because he doesn’t want to sleep with the baby any longer (after insisting he didn’t want his own room for 6 weeks). Well, one set has monkeys, giraffes, elephants, etc… and koala bears… ummm ok? Some people reviewing the decals even mentioned that it was odd to incude them in a jungle pack of Africa.

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