A multicultural fair run by the Bayless EL department and families was held at Bayless Elementary School on Saturday, September 29, 2018. The multicultural fair showcased the cultures of ten countries that were represented by immigrant/EL families at Bayless. These countries included Bosnia, Poland, Honduras, Mexico, Iran, Afghanistan, Hungary, Kurdistan, Nepal, and Iraq. At each booth at the fair, immigrant/EL parents and children presented the traditions, cultural activities, history, and life in their home countries. Cultural artifacts, traditional dress, textiles, cookware, currency, national flags, pictures of landscape, and books in home languages were displayed at the fair. Presenters whose languages use different scripts – such as Arabic, Nepali, and Kurdish – offered to write visitors’ names in their languages. At the storytelling station, children enjoyed story time with teachers and family members. At the International Institute booth, information about ESL classes and career advancement was available; information about health insurance was provided in multiple languages.
Visitors who came to the fair could pick up an “International Passport” at the entrance. With the passport, visitors entered the fair to experience a little piece of what life was like in different countries, and received a stamp on the passport from each booth they visited. Visitors were able to know more about those countries and cultures featured at the fair, joined a bean-bag toss game, and tasted exotic food. Principal Aaron Kohler, Director Kelly Klocke, SEE-TEL coach Tiffany Maloney, cohort teachers Terra Kehlenbrink, Meghan Lewis, and Rhonda Erickson as well as other teachers and staff were at the fair welcoming the visitors and supporting the presenters. SEE-TEL team members Dr. Yuwen Deng and Dawn Thieman from UMSL and Jeong-Mi Moon from MU joined the families and teachers at the fair.