Sonoran Science Academy Ahwatukee is gearing up for its fourth annual International Food and Culture Day, which furthers the student’s appreciation for cultures around the world.

Assistant Principal Kenny Walker said the process for having the event at the school can become a long process, where each classroom chooses a different country they would like to study and research.

Some of the countries students conducted research on were Mexico, Somalia, Turkey and India.

The countries are typically chosen by the teachers, and a few are picked by administrators.

The studying and research process takes weeks prior to the event, and each classroom is decorated accordingly to give the nuance of the county being studied.

Some research that was conducted by the Sonoran students and consisted of learning the culture of the country, the lifestyle, type of government the country has, their economic status, and gender rights.

“They really study the ins and outs before that big day,” Walker said. “They watch a video, and the teacher has a mini lesson about that country.”

On the day of the event, taking place this Friday, Jan. 24, the students visit each of the eight classrooms to get a brief explanation of the country.

Each student receives their own personal “passport” and after the 15-minute discussion, the passport is stamped giving the impression the students have visited a foreign country.

“We rotate about eight classrooms every 15 minutes, and the kids line up in the hallway and fly off to another country,” Walker said.

After the afternoon of raking up frequent-flyer miles, the students and family members are invited to mingle among one another during the school’s pot luck.

Being a very culture-diverse school, administrators ask families to bring in different dishes for the pot luck of their native background.

“We have a large population of different countries represented, and the students get to understand each other’s culture and learn to respect each other’s culture,” Walker said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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