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Optimist International School celebrates diversity

Wednesday 7 June was a day of celebrations at Optimist International School as they honoured the rich cultural diversity and commemorated their 5 year anniversary.

By Manon Blaxland, PR and Communications at Optimist International School (OIS)

With their “passports” in hand, the children went on an exciting journey, participating in various cultural activities that allowed them to learn morre about different traditions and languages from around the world. In the afternoon, a food and culture market was put together by the parent committee, featuring more than 22 stalls that showcased the flavors and customs of the diverse cultures at OIS. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as children eagerly performed on the Open Stage.

Amidst the festivities, OIS also celebrated a significant milestone—their 5 year anniversary. Since opening their doors in January 2018 with 25 families, the school has grown exponentially, welcoming over 500 children from more than 40 different nationalities into their community.

Language Friendly approach

Recognizing the diverse linguistic backgrounds we place great importance on creating a multilingual and inclusive environment. Anne-Marie van Holst, Director of OIS, emphasizes, “When you have so many families who are multilingual in your community, you want to make sure children and parents feel welcome.” This commitment also led our school to become a certified Language Friendly School (LFS) two years ago.

The event also featured the presence of Dr. Ellen-Rose Kambel, co-founder of Language Friendly School and Executive Director of Rutu Foundation. During her speech, Dr. Kambel launched the trailer of a new Massive Open Online Course designed for all teachers who wish to know more about creating a language-friendly classroom. Optimist International School, being a certified LFS, actively participates in the course’s second module, showcasing their expertise and dedication to fostering linguistic inclusivity.

In conclusion…

The speeches, cultural activities, combined with the delicious food, captivating performances, and a sense of togetherness, created a truly uplifting experience for all. As as school we continue our mission to nurture a global community that embraces and celebrates the richness of all cultures and languages.

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