Support our mission
 
Zukeran first-graders J.J. Winchester, left, and Jacob Clement paint paper boomerangs during their visit to “Australia.” Each classroom studied a different culture and students traveled the world during 25-minute presentations.
Zukeran first-graders J.J. Winchester, left, and Jacob Clement paint paper boomerangs during their visit to “Australia.” Each classroom studied a different culture and students traveled the world during 25-minute presentations. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Zukeran first-graders J.J. Winchester, left, and Jacob Clement paint paper boomerangs during their visit to “Australia.” Each classroom studied a different culture and students traveled the world during 25-minute presentations.
Zukeran first-graders J.J. Winchester, left, and Jacob Clement paint paper boomerangs during their visit to “Australia.” Each classroom studied a different culture and students traveled the world during 25-minute presentations. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Kristina McMahon shows off a didgeridoo — an instrument of her native Australia — to students during Zukeran’s multicultural day.
Kristina McMahon shows off a didgeridoo — an instrument of her native Australia — to students during Zukeran’s multicultural day. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Signs point to some of the 24 cultures that were highlighted at Zukeran Elementary School on Camp Foster, Okinawa, on Friday.
Signs point to some of the 24 cultures that were highlighted at Zukeran Elementary School on Camp Foster, Okinawa, on Friday. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The 600-plus students at Zukeran Elementary School here had passports in hand and became world travelers Friday, visiting 24 countries in seven hours, all without leaving the school grounds.

No high-speed transportation was needed as students took part in Zukeran’s annual multicultural day, traveling from classroom to classroom where they learned about various cultures, according to Tricia Rawls, first-grade teacher and chairwoman of this year’s event.

Before students began their globe-trotting, the day began with a “Parade of Nations.” Each class carried its featured country’s flag and one student would give a brief presentation.

Once their journeys began, students had their passports stamped at each “country” they visited.

At each 25-minute stop, students received presentations from teachers or parents on the countries’ cultures and even were able to perform activities such as craft-making and dancing. Students also were able to get a taste of the cultures as parents made dishes from the countries’ cuisine for students to sample.

“We want to celebrate the diversity of our cultures — the military is such a diverse group of people,” Rawls said.

For many of the students, learning about different cultures isn’t just for the day. Rawls said her classroom studied Australia, the country represented in their room, for the past two weeks, learning everything from native animals and cooking to art and music.

Even though they’re currently living in Japan, first-graders Jacob Clement and J.J. Winchester said their host country was one of their favorite stops during the day.

“I like the people dancing … it was kind of freaky,” Clement said. “But I also like this place,” he said, pointing to the word “Scandinavia” on his passport. “We got to make a [troll quilt].”

Added J.J.: “I liked Japan because they were playing a game — hitting a ball up in the air and not letting it touch the ground.”

The overall goal, Rawls said, was to “teach the kids acceptance of other people and instill in them pride of their heritage.”

Migrated

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up