Students teach community about global culture
COLUMBIA — The Islamic School of Columbia-Missouri invited the community to help them promote international togetherness on Saturday. The school hosted its third annual celebration of International Children’s Day at Smithton Middle School in Columbia.
This year’s theme was “A Taste Around the World.”
Students prepared signature dishes of various countries. While people filled their plate, they heard students present some research they had done about the country. Participants studied South Africa, Bosnia, Mexico, Palestine, Somalia and Malaysia, among other nations.
Preschool and kindergarten students performed traditional songs and dances.
School administrator Tae’lor Jones said though the projects were different between age groups, the lessons learned were the same.
"[Students are] learning about other traditions so that they can be accepting of other cultures and traditions as well," Jones said.
One of the founders of the Islamic School of Columbia-Missouri, Shakir Hamoodi said though classrooms are diverse, this event offers an opportunity to broaden horizons even further.
"In the Islamic Center, we have over 14 nationalities so our school is a scoop of this community," Hamoodi said. "So we want them to know their heritage, know their background, but also at the same time, we want them to know about other countries. Like the Mexican dance here, none of our students are from Mexico but that does not mean that we should not learn about other countries."
Hamoodi said the school encourages empathy at an early age.
"They try to at least feel the nature of the human being on the other side of the isle," Hamoodi said.
Columbia Mayor Brian Treece was in attendance.