Desert Garden Montessori celebrates Multicultural Day - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Desert Garden Montessori celebrates Multicultural Day

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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:45 am | Updated: 11:08 am, Sat Apr 26, 2014.

Gaining a better appreciation for cultural all over the world can be an exciting venture, and Desert Garden Montessori has been spreading the love of cultural diversity through its annual Multicultural Day.

The morning event is held in the school’s courtyard where parents are invited to see their child represent their cultural background with pride, along with gaining respect for their fellow friend’s heritage.

Shetal Walters, founder of the school, said Multicultural Day has been at the school since its existence, dating back more than 14 years ago.

“It’s predominately to celebrate the diversity of our globe,” she said. “Montessori is about the whole world and the globe and the differences, yet we are the same. We have so many different countries represented here, and our mission is to be one.”

During Multicultural Day, parents are asked to put a pin on a world map in the school’s lobby to show where their family comes from.

Pins were scattered throughout the world map from South America, Europe, Africa, India, etc.

Inside the courtyard children were seen walking around waving flags from their family’s homeland, and sporting heritage sashes.

The heritage sashes were a family project where each student went home to make them with their family, gaining knowledge of where they come from.

“It’s a home-learning assignment about celebrating where they come from, so it starts a dialogue on where they are from,” Walters said. “It becomes quite a family experience, and the sash has different elements that represent all the places they are from.”

Desert Garden Montessori parents seemed very entertained during the morning event, as they waved to their children while they participated in singing songs during Multicultural Day.

Mark Hennigh, who has two daughters attending the school, feels the morning event is a way for others to see all different cultures at the school and around the world.

Hennigh said Multicultural Day offers a way to be open to different cultures, and learn how they interact with one another.

Tony Lee, whose daughter attends the school, said Multicultural Day is very representative within his family considering he has family members from across Africa.

“Just celebrating differences in cultures and bring the world together is something we do in our family... and to see it celebrated in the school it’s one of my favorite celebrations,” Lee said.

Parents also joined in on the fun by bringing different cuisines most common from their homeland.

“We just celebrated Martin Luther King Day and this is a realization of his dream,” Lee said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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