Thursday’s Cleburne ISD Multicultural Fair, set for 5-8 p.m. in the Cleburne Conference Center, serves as an annual celebration of the diversity within the school district and the community and also gives students the opportunity to showcase their family’s roots and research their culture.
Entries in the “Our World, Our Cultures” contest will be among the featured exhibits of student work at the 4th Annual Multicultural Fair, which will be highlighted by student performances from many CISD campuses. Events will also include children’s activities, a book swap and information booths on district and community programs and services available to children and families.
Again this year, student chefs from Cleburne High School’s Culinary Arts program will provide samplings of international cuisine. Food tastings will include meat and potato empanadas unique to Puerto Rico, German apple streusel cake, Swedish meatballs, Italian apple bacon jam crostini, Lamingtons, a mild, sweet cake traditional to Australia, a sausage pastry recipe from Korea and elote, the grilled corn snack made popular by Mexico’s street vendors.
Coleman Elementary fifth grader Brannigan Cox is among the winners in the “Our World, Our Cultures” competition. Cox is the recipient of the Most Original Exhibit Award for his entry on Peter Larsson Cock, his great-grandfather, nine generations back, who was among the first settlers of New Sweden, later known as Philadelphia.
In addition to having his entry on display, Cox will be featured in a videotaped interview in which he tells about his ancestor, who went on to become articulate in the language of the Delaware tribe, including serving as a translator. In the video, Cox speaks several phrases from the Delaware dialect.
“One of my father’s relatives wrote a book on their family’s famous ancestor,” Cox said. “He was the first generation in our family to settle in America--I’m the twelfth. I liked doing research about my family. I always thought we were nobodies, but when I found out about this I said, ‘yes, we’re important!’”
The fifth grader said he wasn’t sure at first about entering the contest, but was encouraged by his father.
“I’m glad he talked me into it,” he said. “Doing this teaches you research and you get to learn more about you. Now I think I need to find a famous ancestor on my mom’s side. We have a lot of their names and I think there’s one that sounds like a president or someone in history.”
Belen Morgan, CISD English Language Arts and Reading curriculum coordinator, said Cox was a perfect example of the purpose behind the research-related competition taking place in conjunction with the Multicultural Fair.
“The idea in establishing the contest was to get students to connect to culture and the different ways to do research,” she said. “Some of our students looked at their families, while others focused on the culture unique to their heritage, pop culture or historical figures of interest to them. I love that our kids made their own interpretation of the theme of the competition rather than their teachers telling them what they should do. They have written essays, poems, created dioramas and other art forms that showcase what they have learned.”
Winners in the “Our World, Our Cultures” contest, open to all grade levels, also include Zaidee Rogers, Gerard Elementary, Best Exhibit Grades K-2; Emilio Quiñones, Coleman Elementary, Most Creative Exhibit; Caleb Kirby, Coleman Elementary, Most Informative Exhibit; Hallie Davis, Wheat Middle School, Best in Poetry, Grades 6-8; Kallie Watson, Wheat MS, Best in Multimedia, Grades 6-8 and Alondra Rojas, Cleburne HS, Best in Visual Arts, grades 9-12.
Student performances will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center of the Cleburne Conference Center. Campus groups, in order of appearance, include Marti Wrangler Choir; Adams Elementary Choir-5:25; Gerard Elementary Kindergarten Choir-5:35; Santa Fe Elementary Cheerleaders-5:45; Cooke Elementary Vocal Roar Show Choir-5:55; Coleman Colt Choir-6:05; Santa Fe Drama Club-6:15; Irving Elementary Ballet Folklórico-6:30; Wheat Middle School Boys Choir-6:45; Ensemble performances by CHS Golden Pride Band members-6:55; CHS Showstoppers Dance Team-7:10; Ensemble performances by CHS choir members-7:20 and a music medley by CHS theater and choir students-7:30.
The Multicultural Fair is co-sponsored by the City of Cleburne. Admission is free.
Brannigan Cox, a fifth grader at Coleman Elementary, discusses his award-winning project on a family ancestor during a videotaped interview. Exhibits of student work, including winning entries in the “Our World, Our Cultures” competition, will be featured during Thursday evening’s CISD Multicultural Fair at the Cleburne Conference Center, along with student performances, children’s activities, information booths and samplings of international cuisine.