What do a mariachi band, a German polka band, and a Zumba class have in common? They all represent a part of our diverse and vibrant school community! After a two-year hiatus, Westmont CUSD201 was able to host International Night once again on April 8th at Westmont Junior High School. International Night is a celebration of our families to share their culture and heritage with others through food, music, clothing, photos, and cultural artifacts from around the world. “Planning International Night was a fun way to collaborate with teachers and parents to create a memorable experience for our district” stated Mrs. Gonzalez, a bilingual reading interventionist at Manning. “The event showcased the diversity of our community and promoted inclusiveness and respect for each other”, she added.
Although the weather was less than stellar that evening, family after family arrived proudly displaying their traditional clothing, delicious food, and various cultural artifacts. Norma Martinez, mother of a 4th-grade dual language student stated, “Our participation at International Night was great to teach my children a little more about their Puerto Rican roots. It was fun to have them help me prepare the dishes we took. Attending the event also gave them the opportunity to learn about the origins of their schoolmates.”
The night continued with resounding tunes from Mariachi Monumental de Mexico, a Chicago-based mariachi band that started in 2009 with a group of five friends who had a passion for mariachi music. At the end of their performance, the band invited audience members to dance along to their last song. International Night organizer and BPAC member Patrizia Meza shared, “International Night was a huge success and so much fun! With over 15 tables and over 350 attendees, it was amazing to see how our school community came together! From the families that hosted tables, to the families that came out to show their support, it was truly inspirational to see how our district families showed up!”
Thank you to Roxanne Engstrom for capturing a wonderful night! Hawa Images - CUSD 201 International Night