The International Fair: Celebrating cultural diversity

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Author: Clarisa Ayllon

Clarisa Ayllon, Multicultural Coordinator of the Parent Teacher Organisation at ACS Egham

Clarisa Ayllon, a parent at ACS Egham and the Parent Teacher Organisation’s Multicultural Coordinator explores the importance of celebrating international mindedness and multiculturalism in the school community through the school’s annual International Fair.

Being able to celebrate such a vast number of different cultures and nationalities under one roof is something I have always valued in the ACS school experience. I could think of no better way to give back to the Community than to get involved with this annual event.

I knew this would be a great opportunity to get to know and build relationships with a number of faculty members and other parents and work together to create something not just for the students but also for all to enjoy. Of course, an opportunity to indulge in such a variety of mouth-watering traditional cuisines and taste flavours from every corner of the world is also a bonus! For those who love to cook, this was a chance to share the delicacies of your country with others.

Encouraging cultural exchange

Due to ACS Egham’s international ethos, cultural exchange is strongly encouraged in all school events. As the school has such a rich and diverse community we constantly seek to help students develop a sense of global citizenship and realise the interconnectedness of different cultures across the world. With an international education, students learn to appreciate both cultural similarities and differences.

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The International Fair contributed greatly towards this. While satiating our taste buds with all the different flavours of the local cuisines, the lower school kids participated in a number of activities and games that required them to go around the individual stalls, hosted by the different nationalities, and answer questions to acquire a new stamp to their passports, both a fun and educational experience for the children, with prizes at the end.

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However, the fun and games were not limited to the children. Throughout the day we enjoyed a fantastic flags and costume parade with over 40 countries. Festivities also included live music from the different school bands as well as our very own Vox Mundi choir, comprised of ACS Egham’s mums from across the globe. We even had a special guest, Sam Petchey, a great pianist who has even had audiences with the Queen, joined in the celebrations.

It was a day dedicated to the appreciation of all the different cultures and nationalities that make up the schools unique community, demonstrating to the students the importance of cultural understanding and acceptance in our compassionate community at ACS Egham.

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Proceedings to go to charities

Not only was the fair a chance to bring the whole school community together but also an excellent opportunity to raise money for a number of our local charities such as Food4Lunch and StreetInvest. We feel that it is of equal importance to support the local community as well as to celebrate the cultural diversity within our school. I am proud to say, we raised an impressive £4,600. So a well deserved pat on the back to all who were involved!

Running theme of the year

The International Fair was another addition to our increasing repertoire of successful fund raising school events at ACS Egham School. We try to tailor all our events to our running theme of the year, “Actively building community through fostering social and emotional wellbeing”. During the months of March and April, we also run an annual Food Collection around the whole campus for the Food4Lunch Project where every student from each year group brings an item to donate. This was another fantastic opportunity to donate to charity where all the students can get involved.

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A special thanks to all the support we receive when organising these events, from parents, the ACS Egham school faculty and of course to all the students! My team and I are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring our wonderful community together.

Clarisa Ayllon

Clarisa Ayllon, Multicultural Coordinator of the Parent Teacher Organisation at ACS Egham

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