Students at Scottish Corners Elementary gathered last Friday afternoon for an assembly that featured dancing, a world-famous Puerto Rican musician and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

Students at Scottish Corners Elementary gathered last Friday afternoon for an assembly that featured dancing, a world-famous Puerto Rican musician and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

The program was the culmination of a week of multicultural studies organized by the Scottish Corners PTO.

"The multiculture committee started multiculture week three years ago," said multiculture week chair Barb Nelson. "A lot of schools do a multiculture day or an assembly, but we do a whole week and finish with an assembly."

Each grade focused on a different country or region: first grade studied France, second grade England, third grade Puerto Rico, fourth grade Madagascar and fifth grade the Philippines.

Students learned about the culture and life of their counterparts overseas through visits with ethnic groups from around central Ohio, food and more.

"Each grade level tries to choose a focus that someone has experience with in that country. The second grade has a teacher's aid from England, so they had England," Nelson said.

Students and parents found several connections to the other countries and three grades are exchanging letters with students from England, the Philippines and Madagascar.

"We have our first letter from England," Nelson said last week. "One of the moms lived in England, so she contacted her school and they wrote us letters. Each time a letter comes in, we'll post it so the kids can look at it."

Along with writing letters to students in other countries, students also collected money to help give students in other countries a chance to learn.

With a theme based on the UNICEF book "A School like Mine," Scottish Corners partnered with the Dublin Lions Club to collect money to purchase "school in a box" kits.

"It's a portable classroom with school supplies for 80 children and the top of the suitcase can be used as a chalkboard," Nelson said.

At the assembly, Nelson said the school presented the Lions Club with enough money for two kits, and the Lions Club will match the donation.

Nelson said raising money will help the students find a "common thread" with other students across the globe no matter their location or economic situation.

"This teaches we're also part of a global community and we're raising money for kids just like us," she said.

Elsewhere in the district, students at Deer Run Elementary were surprised with an assembly of Japanese taiko drumming last week.

The multicultural drumming assembly was a reward in the school's points of pride program that encourages good character traits in students.

According to Deer Run guidance counselor Krista Pawlowski, the points of pride focus on respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, trustworthiness and fairness.

"Throughout the school year children have been earning raffle tickets," she said. "If (staff) sees them going above and beyond the points of pride, they give (the student) a raffle tickets and those are collected in a jar in the office. Once the jar gets full, we have a school-wide reward."

Last year, Deer Run rewarded students with a juggling assembly, and Pawlowski said students were expecting another good reward this year.

Eric Paton, a Capital University faculty member, brought Japanese taiko drumming to the Jan. 21 assembly. Paton's show boasts an engaging performance that explores language, history and culture.

Paton was brought to Deer Run through his involvement in a central Ohio arts organization.

"We always try to choose a performer through the Greater Columbus Arts Council and he is a performer through that organization," Pawlowski said. "He performed here (before), but it's probably been six or seven years ago and staff remembered him being phenomenal."

Pawlowski said students had an exciting afternoon, with a dose of education.

"His assembly goes in line with the art content standards with the state of Ohio," Pawlowski said. "It's also very good for diversity."