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A Little Birdy Made Me Smile

I was picking Ella up from school when I found a bird coloring sheet in her cubby. I pulled it out and (despite the fact that it had another child’s name on it) hung onto it.

What struck me was the typed name of the bird: “Quetzal.” The national bird of Guatemala and the namesake of their currency.

I took the picture to her teachers to ask about it. Naturally, they assumed I was concerned about the fact that it wasn’t my child’s coloring page. I (hopefully nicely) said that was fine… that I throw away Ella’s art anyway. (Mom of the Year…) But I wanted to know about the quetzal.

They told me the kids colored them in Spanish class.

 I was so touched.

The landslide majority of kids at Ella’s school are not Latino. Still, they are all in there coloring pictures of the quetzal. As the mother of my little Guatemalan-American daughter, I was just so deeply touched.

I am so grateful for preschools that offer Spanish and teach kids about other countries and the world around them. My kid doesn’t have to be the only one who knows what a quetzal is. That’s a special gift. (I mean… let me be clear… I recognize that a group of 2 year olds probably didn’t retain complex bird names. Still… that’s not the point here.)

Nationwide, there are always parents pushing back against multicultural education or bilingual teaching. And I am just thankful for schools and teachers who forge ahead and offer Guatemalan coloring sheets to a room full of American kiddos.

Thoughts on multicultural education? What projects on other cultures have your children brought home?

3 comments

  1. So, as an ex-daycare teacher...I'm beaming with joy that my sister checked her daughter's cubby!!! Good job, mama. Even if you do throw the art away, teachers are glad it's not stacking up in their room anymore (cus they're not allowed to throw it away!)

    Also, where I worked, we had all the toys' shelves labeled. If there was a child who was being taught another language we were required (unless the parent told us they didn't care) to label in both English and their language! I loved exposing the other kids (and teachers) to other languages!

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  2. As a gringa, living in Guatemala this too makes me smile : ) I wonder if one day a Guatemala school will teach our kiddo about the eagle???

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