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Midvale Journal

International fair teaches students to be aware of, value cultural traditions

Jun 02, 2017 10:52AM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High’s French Club members Emma Greenwood and Emily Trujillo made crepes as part of the Region 17 PTA’s Around the World in 80 Minutes cultural event. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama   |   [email protected]
A Chinese dragon dance by Corner Canyon students; “The Lonely Goatherd” sang in French by Oak Hollow students; a traditional Spanish dance by Silver Mesa students; Chinese martial arts demonstrated by Draper Elementary; and a chance to sample French crepes made by Hillcrest High French students were some of the cultural activities students and their families could engage in at the regional Parent-Teacher Association’s Around the World in 80 Minutes event.
About 20 schools in Sandy, Draper and Midvale participated in the April 17 cultural event at Jordan High that promoted diversity, said Betty Shaw, region 17 PTA director.
“We want students not only to be aware of cultures, but to value them,” she said.  “We’re hoping that they spend at least 80 minutes here learning about other cultures and gaining an appreciation for their ways of life.”
Hillcrest High’s French Club mixed milk, flour and eggs together before making crepes.
“We have crepes for a lot of class activities as it’s a traditional French food and fun to make,” teacher Jordan Hulet said.  “Many people think French is a dying language.  We also wanted to make students aware that French is the second most used language in commerce as well as spoken at the Olympics and FIFA.”
Sophomore Emily Trujillo said that through learning French she has made friends.
“I have made a lot of connections and have met my best friend through learning French,” she said about classmate Emma Greenwood, who was helping her make crepes.
“It’s been fun learning a language outside of English and experiencing another culture,” said Emma, who also is a sophomore at Hillcrest High.
Fourth-grader Aziliz Levitre, who sang with Oak Hollow’s French choir, said that she appreciated seeing other schools’ performances, which included Indian Hills’ choir, Willow Spring’s orchestra, a song and dance from Edgemont, a dance from Midvale Middle and a Latino dance from Jordan High.
“They were so awesome,” said Aziliz, who is living in the United States after being born in France.
Her sister, Calypso, is a seventh-grader at Draper Park Middle School.
“I liked learning about Mali since it’s such a different culture than here,” Calypso said.
Brookwood Elementary showed how the school held a fundraiser for vaccinations for children in Mali and had items from the village of Ouelessebougou on display.  Sandy Elementary staffed a table about Mexico, Park Lane students shared a display of paper dolls around the world, Peruvian Park volunteers taught origami and East Sandy students showed African artwork. 
Alta High and Indian Hills both offered traditional Mexican and Chinese foods, respectively.
Oak Hollow fourth-grader Emilie Dowland said it was fun to sample the foods, but also learn more about France and its language, the one she’s learning.
“It was fun to sing and fun to practice speaking French with others,” she said.
South Elementary PTA Council President Melissa Colton said the event was successful.
“We had so many schools represented, and it was fun for kids to share a part of what they’ve learned with others,” she said.  “We were able to involve so many and offer diverse activities.”