SHREWSBURY – Many different cultures, one big school community.
Sherwood Middle School hosted its first-ever Culture Night on Feb. 9. Hundreds of students, staff and families were invited to explore the numerous religious and cultural identities present in the Sherwood community.
“We’ve been trying hard as a district to really try to promote belonging and really make sure students feel safe and supported at school. Last year, we did a variety of different activities during the school day to promote belonging, and then our students came up with the idea midway through the year about Culture Night,” Sherwood Middle School Principal Jonathan Kelly told the Community Advocate at the event.
The event was led by Sherwood students – students created the event flyer, and several different groups of fifth- and sixth-grade students helped staff the event, keeping it running smoothly.
“It’s pretty special… For them, I think they feel really safe to be creative, explore, and be themselves. We’re very fortunate,” Kelly said. “We really kind of said to the students, ‘This is the date.’ They came up with the ideas. We helped establish the parameters.”
The event started in the school’s cafeteria, where over 25 different groups provided samples of cultural food. Patrons had the opportunity to try dozens of different dishes, including Indian, Bangladeshi, Albanian, Irish, Israeli, Igbo, Brazilian, Palestinian, Nepali, Pakistani and Colombian food.
Once the tasting was complete, several performances were held in the school’s gymnasium, giving the audience the chance to see cultural dances, songs and more.