Dublin Villager

Scioto literacy event was exposition of diversity

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RYAN M.L. YOUNG/THISWEEKNEWS
Greg Antonios, a senior at Dublin Scioto High School, draws a henna tattoo on the hand of Bri Jones, a sophomore during the Global Cafe Read-A-Latte event celebrating different cultures as part of Right to Read Week activities March 6.

Dublin Scioto High School showed its roots last week, highlighting cultures from throughout the world.

The high school celebrated literacy and diversity during Right to Read Week with the Global Cafe Read-A-Latte March 6.

"The is one of my favorite days of the year," Erin Cassaro, Scioto's library media specialist, said as the crowd flowed through the cafeteria last week tasting food and sampling different cultures.

The event has been going on in some form since Scioto opened.

It was started by language arts teacher Diane Sayer, who is now retired.

The event expanded from a classroom to the cafeteria and diversity was added as a focus.

"It's changed and evolved a bit," Cassaro said.

The theme for this year's Global Cafe Read-A-Latte, "Stories hold us together," was inspired by part of the celebration.

The table around the Story Box was crowded last week as students pawed through the contents: stories written by students from throughout the world.

English Language Learning Teacher Jennifer Mitchell brought the box to her classroom in the fall.

She collected stories her students wrote about their home countries and how they came to America.

Students from other Scioto classes also contributed before the box was sent away.

"We sent it to different schools around central Ohio," Mitchell said.

"It went to Riverside Elementary School.

"It traveled around and those students put their things in it," Mitchell said.

"It's so full I don't know how we'll send it around."

The story provides lessons in diversity as well as literacy.

"People put comments on the stories so students get to see how people respond to their stories," Mitchell said.

Students also got to tell their stories through food and culture at the March 6 event.

Booths about China, India, Greece, Spain, Germany, Guate-mala and other countries offered traditional food, pictures and other cultural elements.

Sophomore Azran Hasana offered food from her native country of Bangladesh, although some of the ingredients had to be switched up because they can't be found in central Ohio.

"Food is very different from food here," Hasana said. "I miss those things. When you make it, it tastes different here."

Photos from home and places she's visited also lined Hasana's booth.

"I talk about where I grew up," she said. "I talk about things you can see there that you can't see here."

One of the booths about Japan was manned by Saki Nishizawa.

"We talk about Japanese seasons, food and cities," she said. "Japan has very beautiful seasons."

Manga, also known as "anime" was also a big draw to the booth, Nishizawa said.

Irish Fiddle Festish, Taiko drummers, Russian dancers and storytellers from Ohio Dominican University also offered a taste of cultures through entertainment.

"Robert Yocum, the author, is also here to speak," Cassaro said. "He'll be speaking at the (microphone)... The PTO really helps us with food and financially."

The 400 tickets for the event sold out Cassaro said, netting at least $600. Proceeds from the event will help spread literacy, bringing the event full circle.

"This benefits the African Library project," Cassaro said.

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