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December 17, 2008

Family Traditions

The holiday season is upon us.  Along with the festivities and excitement, there is an awareness and sensitivity to all kinds of families who celebrate different holidays.  Our school readiness classes are doing some great things to encourage awareness and acceptance of families that celebrate traditions throughout the year. 


Here are a few of the ways we encourage our students and their families. 


1.     Each December we send home a large piece of construction paper with a note.  Families are encouraged to work together to show their families’ traditions.  They can draw, write, cut and paste or make a collage.  We then invite each child to show their work to the class.  We ask questions and share comments and learn about each other.

2.     On the last day of our semester we invite families to come to school with their child for a family celebration.  The parents spend time in a parent education class where they can get to know other families.  Then we perform a short play and sing some songs.  We end our time together         with a pot luck.  Families are encouraged to bring a traditional dish to 

share with their classmates.  I bring lefse every year! 

3.     As a team of teachers, we have decided that it is important to teach the facts about holidays that our families might want to know about.  We are very clear to families that it is not our job to celebrate holidays at school but we can always learn something new!  We have come up with language that is inclusive.  For example: “Some families celebrate Christmas.  Each person may celebrate in a different way.”  We try to highlight some of the more major holidays throughout the year, recognizing that many of them do not happen in December. 

4.     We are very committed to using our families as a resource.  Who better to explain about a tradition or holiday than someone who celebrates it? 



For the most part, our families are very open and accepting to learning about different cultures and traditions.  It is great to have a supportive environment where adults and children know that their lives are valued.  It makes people more willing to learn about and experience different walks of life.


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