Students study other cultures

La Cañada Elementary students visited Mexico, Armenia, Italy and the Philippines on Jan. 20 and 21, in the span of just a few hours — without having to leave their school's campus.

It's all thanks to the school's Multi-Cultural Days, a 16-year La Cañada Elementary tradition, held Jan. 20 and 21.

Students got the chance to visit 11 countries, in the form of booths set up in the school's cafeteria. Each booth was equipped with the flag of the country it was representing, along with food, drink and other trinkets related to the country being represented. Each student received a passport booklet and got a stamp at every booth they visited.

Armenia, China, Japan, Korea, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and two other countries were all represented at La Cañada Elementary this year.

A total of 130 parent volunteers breathed life into the event. Eighty parents rotated through shifts serving as representatives of one of the 11 countries on display. Fifty other parents were on hand to act as tour guides with their child's classes, keeping the group moving from booth to booth.

Multi-Cultural Day wouldn't be possible without parent volunteers, said Hana Lui, a co-chair of the event.

"It is possible only because of the dedicated parents," Lui said. "What other PTA can brag that their volunteers cooked 400 lumpia egg rolls, made pasta from scratch with the kids during their presentation, baked cookies for 600 kids and made 600 cucumber mini-sandwiches?"

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