As you enter the door at Eastridge Elementary you see the word "welcome" written in vast array of different languages. Little do you know each one of those languages are actually spoken inside the school
Students from all around the world attend Eastridge, including kids from South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, India, Morocco and Mexico.
“It creates this really dynamic environment here at Eastridge where kids can come from all over and it seems like they have a place because they’re not alone,” second grade teacher Caitie Gutstadt said.
“We talk a lot about tough issues with them we address things like race, identity, and culture and heritage, and give them the opportunity to tangle with it at a really young age.”
On Thursday, students from Gutstadt’s and other second grade classes held a heritage party, celebrating the end of six weeks of research on each student’s heritage. The students shared food from their home countries.
“I feel like I’m accepted by a group of kids that is very different than me and that I’ve had to be aware that the fact that my cultural identity, my background should not control the space just because I’m the teacher. So I think it’s just given me a deeper appreciation for what 7 and 8 year olds can bring to the table,” Gutstadt said.