Members of North High School’s Multicultural Club, along with the school’s English as a Second Language (ESL) students, performed at the John F. Kennedy School during Kennedy’s Multicultural Teach-In. For some students, it was returning to their elementary “alma mater.”
Performances included a traditional Chinese song, a dance from Trinidad/India, and a popular dance from Latin America, La Bachata. After each presentation, the high school students selected enthusiastic Kennedy volunteers to join them on stage to learn a few dance steps, or sing the song in Chinese.
When the audience was asked who spoke Chinese at home, many hands went up, and smiles were abundant when the lyrics of a familiar Chinese song began. Hands again went up when the audience was asked who spoke Spanish at home.
The North High students hoped to instill pride in the youngsters’ ethnic backgrounds by speaking with them about their own heritages. Kennedy graduate Joseline Segovia shared a personal comment when she told students: “When I came to the United States, this was my first school and I sat right where you are seated now.”
After the performance, Kennedy students shared some reactions.
“My favorite part was when the Kennedy kids came to the stage to learn the Spanish dances,” said third-grader Matthew Omid.
Fourth-grader Kateryna Dykun said, “I liked the Indian dance because the girl that danced it was really good and she had a really pretty costume.”
“I liked the Chinese songs because they sound good. I liked going to the stage to sing a song in Chinese,” commented third-grader Yuxi (Julia) Zhou.
ESL teacher Susanne Marcus is the faculty advisor for North High’s Multicultural Club.