Lost Lake Elementary School students got a treat on Multicultural Day last week when Jim Sawgrass, a member of the Florida Muskogee Creek Tribe, showed up in native dress with Indian artifacts.
Thomas Wooton, who attended the event to support his third-grade daughter, said he liked that students got to see different things associated with Sawgrass’ culture and others from around the world.
“They learn how totally different their lives are from that of some other cultures,” he said.
Teacher Stephanie Tuesca said she liked how the day’s demonstrations “brought the real world to life.”
Sawgrass’ grand finale demo involved the children counting to three in his Native American language before firing one loud blank toward the woods from a musket.
Aisha Wooton, 9, said of all the artifacts Sawgrass displayed, her favorites were the weapons.
“It was fun to watch him throw the spears and learning what each weapon was used for,” she said.
This is the fourth year the Clermont school has put on Multicultural Day. School Principal Rhonda Hunt said the purpose is to promote diversity and acceptance by not only having students learn about the various cultures that exist among their fellow classmates, but to learn about traditions and cultures from all over the world.
Fifth-grader Neelam Hari came dressed in her Panjabi, an outfit made up of a colorful dress, pants and a scarf, which women often wear for special occasions in the Indian culture.
“I got a lot of questions about it and what it’s called,” she said.
In addition to wearing multicultural clothing, other students performed songs and dances in their native languages and told stories about different cultural traditions they practice at home with their families.
For the past two weeks, each grade has been researching various traditions and cultures from countries all over the world, and decorating their rooms and hallways accordingly.
Lost Lake also hosted performances by belly dancer Maria Gimme Shimmy, Ed Anderson’s Black Bear Steel Drum Band from Seminole Springs Elementary and a martial arts demonstra tion by Iron Sharpened.
Cleta Horton, the school’s curriculum resource teacher, said the day went off as intended, which was “to bring all multicultural communities together.”