|CULTURAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN JEWISH AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOCUSES ON MULTICULTURALISM|
MONTREAL, MAY 16, 2005– Grade 5 and 6 students from Coronation Elementary School in Côte des Neiges were invited to visit the nearby Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools (JPPS) to experience the latter’s annual multiculturalism day on Monday, May 16. In January, JPPS students were the guests of Coronation as part of a cultural exchange.
JPPS pioneered this multiculturalism program many years ago and it has grown in scope. The English and French studies teachers, along with arts specialist Kelly Shackman, provide the students with the opportunity to research and study a community of their choice. The aim of the program is to introduce students to cultures and ways of life other than their own.
The development of intellectual, academic, and methodological competencies, as well as a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge acquisition is central to the school’s teaching. This exciting collaborative project accommodates the Multiple Intelligencies of the students and integrates all grade level competencies as outlined by the new Ministry of Education reform.
In order to look at the workings of another culture, the school focuses on certain aspects: the history, geography, economics, politics, and governmental organization; traditional, religious or philosophical beliefs and practices; social and educational organization; the plastic arts (painting, sculpture), the performing arts (music, dance, opera, theatre, puppetry); literature; and architecture.
This year the Grade 5 students have been studying the communities of Japan, India, China and Italy. The students have had the opportunity to visit these communities, see the richness of the culture, music, religion and art of the people. Representatives of the respective communities also visited the school. The culmination of this program took place with a multicultural lunch, featuring foods of the countries studied along with various activities. Later that day an evening of artistic expression, learning and fun took place at Bialik High School in Côte Saint-Luc. The students served as the hosts and facilitators, dressing in the traditional costumes of the community they studied, presenting traditional dances, exhibiting their work and serving the traditional foods.
Michael J. Cohen