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Nova Southeastern University
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NSU University School Celebrates Diversity

cultural unity fair 3

Students at NSU University School recently had the chance to visit around the world – but not in 80 days. The Lower School held its annual Cultural Unity Fair, during which parent volunteers came in to share their unique backgrounds with the students. Adam Carswell, director of the Lower School, said the event has been around for many years and was created to celebrate the diversity within the student population. Although various programs regularly introduce the students to different experiences, the day highlights the school’s different heritages in depth. “That’s all to really grow our diversity and engage and celebrate it as well,” said Carswell. “We can all learn from each other and get a sense of how different we can be and yet how similar we can be.”

cultural unity fair 1Parents were instructed to set up booths for their respective cultures from all over the globe, including Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Spain, Russia, China, Australia, India, Azerbaijan, France, Ireland, Italy, Ukraine, Thailand and Germany. Some students in the Upper School also participated in the event by representing their home countries, as they are international students currently being housed by families. Megan Joyce, a guidance counselor in the Lower School and co-organizer of the event, said the booths provided little treats for the children, from food samples to stickers, bookmarks, pencils, temporary tattoos and more.

cultural unity fair 2The volunteers are encouraged to be as creative as possible with their presentations, resulting in the displays becoming increasingly extravagant over time. This year featured drum music and dancers from Haiti, as well as Trinidad and Tobago. “They usually run the ideas by us, and if it’s something that we can help them do, we try to make that happen,” Joyce said. The Lower School students rotated around the room, collecting the items as they learned about each culture. Children in third, fourth and fifth grade were also quizzed throughout their travels, writing in their responses for a questionnaire that was given to them at the start of the fair. As an Italian-American, second grader Isabella Sackaris said she was happy to see her culture represented and especially enjoyed the Italian ice treats. “The most important message I took away was that NSU University School is a melting pot of wonderful cultures,” Sackaris said. Nicholas Dyer, on the other hand had the most fun with the dancers and drummers from Haiti. The second grader said he is of both Irish and English descent. “It taught me that everyone is part of one world,” said Dyer.