After four glorious days with our 5th grade students and parents in Williamsburg, Virginia, it became very apparent to me that this and our other educational trips offer much more than one would suspect. They are most certainly one of the best ways for our children to learn about early American history. The lively reenactments, interactive battles, hands-on and engaging tours, and even an evening of learning proper Colonial dancing in authentic attire give our students a true understanding of important historical events and traditions that helped shape the past. Learning about our past can give us great insight to events and happenings of today. While the challenges and tribulations may have been different there are universal lessons that withstand the span of time on prejudice, tolerance, and acceptance of differences and much more. Our children can learn valuable lessons by studying the attitudes and behaviors of the past.
As the United States becomes a more culturally and ethnically diverse nation, our schools need to teach children how to interact in a diverse environment. There is a richness that comes from students and parents working, playing, and learning side by side with others who are not of the same cookie-cutter mold.
As I sat back and examined our large group of over 130 students and parents on the trip, it was wonderful to see the blending of cultures and nationalities. The students and parents on the 5th grade trip were made up of a diverse population representing at least four or five different nationalities or ethnicities. Many deep bonds were formed on this trip. Several parents remarked about how wonderful it was to develop an understanding of the perspectives of children and parents from different backgrounds and how this experience afforded them this valuable opportunity. As our world becomes “smaller and smaller,” it is so important for our children to learn to thrive in a multicultural, multiethnic environment. Parents and educators play a huge role in modeling inclusivity with children and can create an environment where there is respect and a celebration of all!
By Cindy Moon
Head of School