What a beautiful Fourth of July weekend we had in Botetourt. The weather was perfect for the holiday; sunny, humidity free with a nice breeze. The night skies were clear and provided a great view of the fireworks. We were once again able to join together and celebrate our nation as a whole.
As I enjoyed some of the festivities around the area, it struck me what a beautiful community we have. Yes, physically we live in a gorgeous part of the country, but I’m talking culturally. The Roanoke Valley is home to such a diverse group of people from all over the world. Being exposed to all of these cultural differences is such a wonderful opportunity to explore and grow as a person and as a community.
Diversity is about what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs, all the things that make us who we are. Learning about different cultures and how they live, work and play is so interesting. Under the Beauty in Diversity badge in the Reading Colors Your World Summer Learning Challenge we dive into what makes different people and cultures so unique and fascinating.
Activities such as our homemade playdough and Skittles rainbow experiment introduce the concept of diversity to young ones. It is a great way to show how though we are all different, we are beautiful together. Reinforce what they have learned with the diverse family and paper doll activities, letting your child create their own family of unique individuals.
Video activities, like Cultures of the World and The World’s Family will have you exploring cultures from around the world. Learn about how countries have developed over time, what the people wear and how they spend their days. It is amazing to see what makes us unique, but also how we are so similar in other ways. By exploring American culture, French, Chinese and many others, viewers learn how to appreciate the differences and how they influence our own identities.
Continue exploring cultures by engaging your family in the kitchen with recipes from around the world. Not only do you get to make some mouth-watering meals, but each page contains facts about the country, fun food facts, a phrase in the native language, and pictures of the country alongside a map and/or the flag. Not only will your kids and grandkids become more comfortable in the kitchen, but it will also give them a greater appreciation of different cultures and they will be more open to trying new foods, especially when they have a hand in making it.
Everyday we see a variety of people come through our library doors. We see people from all walks of life, and they all have different ideas, lifestyles and preferences. Creating an environment of inclusion doesn’t just start or stop at our doors, and that is what we hope our Summer Learning Challenge will convey. If we all listen and open our mind, we can learn something amazing from everyone. Our differences are what adds color to our lives.
Eagle Rock Branch Librarian