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Eighth annual Multicultural Diversity Festival returns on March 6

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With a mission to present cultural diversity within Broken Arrow Public Schools and the Broken Arrow community, the Multicultural Diversity Festival is returning for its eighth year on March 6, 2014, from 6-9 p.m. at the Broken Arrow Community Center.

This free event is presented by International Cultures for Education (ICE) PTA and Lynn Wood Elementary.

“The festival will promote awareness between cultures, break down ethnic barriers, and provide an environment to create social relationships and unity,” said Felisa Hilbert, event organizer and ELL bilingual assistant at Lynn Wood Elementary. “This event will educate all our students, parents and school staff about different cultures, foods, music, traditional attires and customs. Guests will be given the opportunity to learn and travel around the world in one night without all the formalities of needing a passport in hand.”

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52f15ab413c98To view more pictures of this event please click on picture
To view more pictures of this event please click on picture
Created in 2006, the Multicultural Festival was originally created to attract minority parents to get involved in school activities, participate in parent-teacher conferences and actively engage in their children’s education.

Over the years, the festival has grown tremendously. In 2013, 35 countries presented, 14 groups performed, 12 community resources offered their free services and more than 1,200 guests attended.

Hilbert hopes for even more growth this year.

“I hope we will see an increase of awareness and knowledge about diversity and the value of cultural enrichment,” she said. “This community event gives our school parents, local residents and members of all cultures a sense of connectedness as they come together to celebrate each other’s cultures.”

Hilbert’s involvement with the festival and various other activities has brought her many praises and awards, including being named the 2008 Multicultural Paraprofessional of the Year. Earlier last year, she was selected by Parenting Magazine to represent Oklahoma at the second annual Mom Congress in Washington, D.C. She has also been named a White House Champion of Change on Education because of her passion for educating students and families about diversity acceptance.

She has worked diligently to organize the International Cultures for Education (ICE) PTA, a group that was created in 2008 with only 15 members who represented five continents. Today membership has grown to more than 150 members who represent more than 30 countries.

If you’d like to join ICE PTA, memberships are only $5. For more information about the festival or ways to get involved, please contact Hilbert at 918-259-4430.