Madeleine Basso, Dotty Brousseau, Rebecca Linehan
On May 5, 2015, Madeleine Basso, Dotty Brousseau, and Rebecca Linehan participated in an event known as Dia at Wilson Elementary School in Manchester, NH. This event was called Dia, or Diversity in Action, and its purpose was to get the school and community involved in a literacy themed, cultural event. It centered around Mexican culture, being on Cinco de Mayo, but was not limited to only one cultural exploration. For the pilot year, Dia included a multitude of activities and opportunities within the event, but will hopefully expand in years to come.
We came to Wilson School immediately following the regular school day to set up. We dressed as characters from books. Maddy dressed as Madeline from Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, and Rebecca dressed as Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. We treated the event almost like stations or centers. Maddy ran a craft table where students were encouraged to make, decorate, and play with maracas. Students used plastic eggs, beans, plastic spoons, and other accessories to create the project. It was fun and very busy!
Meanwhile, Dotty ran a table to display the collaborative project she had worked on with her high school students. She and the students worked to translate a classic story, The Three Little Pigs, into Hindi, Arabic, and Portuguese. Visitors to this station were able to see the books in writing, but also listen to the spoken version on the computer.
While Dotty and Maddy ran their stations, Rebecca was able to float around the room and ensure that everything went smoothly. She also led a parade of students dressed like storybook characters! Each student got to hold a sign that said “read!” in a variety of languages.
In addition to these centers and activities, there was also a DJ, authentic food tastings, a dance performance, games, storytelling in multiple languages, and a book giveaway! Overall, the event was very fun, very successful, and a great opportunity to connect with the community.