The Nevada City School District Club Preschool program is a small (24 children) world tucked across from the district office on the Seven Hills school campus. The program goal is to provide opportunities for children to recognize and appreciate the similarities and differences in others and to appreciate the diversity in the social world of the classroom. It has been achieved with exciting results.
Sarah, whose mother’s family is from Laos, dressed in her golden ceremonial temple dress and carried traditional rice baskets around during group time.
Max shared a book and traditionally dressed wooden dolls from his mother’s native Romania.
NCSD alumni Jessica, now a university student majoring in elementary education, shares stories, pictures and objects she brought back from a student volunteer program in a small Costa Rican elementary school. She helped each child make their own tortilla in a wooden homemade tortilla press.
Even in the most apparently “homogeneous” programs (children of the same ethnicity or speaking the same language) similarities and differences exist, including those related to gender, family structure, religion, country of origin, abilities and disabilities and many other aspects of children’s background.
Our small world was enriched and made bigger by moments such as Aryanna feeling as proud as can be as her daddy talked to the class about his world travels in the U.S. Army.
As the Walt Disney song says so well; “There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware it’s a small world after all.”
Amber Johnson is the supervisor/teacher at Nevada City School District Club Preschool.