One School, Many Nations – Nokesville Celebrates Cultural Diversity

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

Bonjour! Assalamo alaikum! Hallo! Annyong haseyo!

During morning announcements, these were some of the greetings heard in celebration of One School, Many Nations week at The Nokesville School. Students from various cultures and heritages spoke in French, Korean, Vietnamese, German, Urdu, Spanish, and Krio during the week of April 1-5. Family trees were shared and displayed to show the rich culture and heritage of The Nokesville School.

One School, Many Nations week kicked off with a luncheon for the staff. Staff members prepared foods that represented their cultural heritage, with delicious foods such as Irish stew, elk chili, pollo con arroz, hummus, and collards. 

David Armstrong and his sons, Zeke and Nate, introduced Native American cultural dances and traditional dress by representing the Eastern Cherokee tribe to staff and students. Some of the dances were the Grass Dance, the Bear, and the Crow. Students learned about the meaning of the designs on each piece of clothing that was worn. Nate shared that he had won the Grass Dance competition at a Pow Wow. Students learned how to say thank you —Wado— in Eastern Cherokee.

Gil Trenum, Brentsville District School Board representative, shared his military service experiences of being in Djibouti and Tanzania. Students learned about the terrain, climate, schooling, and animal life. They were shown the wildlife on the Serengeti plain, a video clip of a ‘strolling camel’ and of a ‘sauntering lion’ that was getting a little too close to the vehicle. Trenum introduced the students to the Swahili language by saying hello and thank you—Jambo, Asante.

The main hallway was filled with excitement and inquisitiveness as the week came to an end culminating with presentations of many countries represented in The Nokesville School population, including Pakistan, Belgium, Brazil, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Peru.

Staff and students learned about each of the countries as they sampled that country’s food and beverages. A highlight for the girls was being able to get Henna done from Pakistan. Afghan bread, the ‘party’ dress, and the jewelry were points of interest from Afghanistan. Many of the upper students were moved by the history of South Korean history presented by relatives to Queen Min, who was killed by Japanese assassins. Peru was represented with a beautiful tapestry and a purple corn drink made from actual purple corn (which tasted like Kool-Aid).

One student asked, “Can we do this again next year?” Another said, “It was fun, and I learned a lot about another country!”

Learning about diversity and cultural heritage is #PositivelyPWCS.

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