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Glenbrook Middle School hosted a Multicultural Potluck on Thursday May 19th in the school gym. The event was intended to highlight some of the diverse cultures that we have in our community. The event was open to students, staff, and families that make up the Glenbrook community. The grant we received allowed us to purchase decorations, craft supplies, plates, utensils, containers, extra food, and to hire a fantastic henna artist who was busy all night! The event was attended by current and future students, parents, school staff (including principal, vice-principal, teaching and custodial staff), and our school board trustee. Some of the attendees wore traditional dress and one brought a comprehensive display of his native country of Eritrea. Some of the other countries represented were China, Korea, Greece, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, India, and Italy. There was on-site cooking of beignets and pakora, craft tables including supplies to make flags, and a large map where attendees could mark their country of origin. There was even a dance performance by some of the students!
This was the first time an event like this has been held at the school. Although we made announcements, sent out emails and put up posters, we had a smaller group of attendees than we had hoped for (about 50 in all). However, that made the event more mellow and intimate and allowed for more personal conversations. We had a surplus of food, but we had containers available and many of the attendees took some of their favourite dishes home to enjoy the next day also! All of the attendees had very positive feedback from the event and many were willing to help organize it again next year. There were some excellent ideas for how to get more people involved in a future Multicultural potluck event. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. We are extremely grateful to the Neighbourhood Small Grant Committee for funding this inaugural event. Without this funding, we would not have been able to host the event. Surprisingly, however, we ended up not spending all of our allocated NSG funds on this event. The Committee graciously agreed to let us use the remaining funds to sponsor ‘Glenbrook Multicultural Potluck Part 2’ – a second multicultural potluck event to celebrate United Nations Day. We are hopeful that events like these will stimulate greater interest and awareness of the cultural diversity of our community.