A Virtual Celebration of Cultures

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The Shaw Avenue School community joined together virtually on Nov. 17 for the school’s first “Thankful For Our International Community Night.” Hosted by the school’s PTA, the evening event was streamed live for families on the Shaw Avenue PTA’s Facebook page. The virtual event was created due to the pandemic and in lieu of the school’s annual International Night which is usually held in person during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Prior to the special night, Shaw Avenue students, staff and families were encouraged to submit videos that represented their culture. Diversity is embraced and respected in Valley Stream District 30’s curriculum and community and this virtual event was evident of that. Shaw Avenue Principal Christopher Colarossi kicked off the evening with the PTA members.

“A true culturally proficient school is not one that acknowledges diversity for one special night, one specific month or one season,” he said. “Rather, it’s a place where all nationalities are welcomed, valued and celebrated continuously. That’s what we have at Shaw Avenue, a true international community. Many colors, many flavors and many perspectives with one common goal to do what’s best for our kids.”

Shaw Avenue PTA Co-President Shabeena Shakur and her family edited the international night video to showcase the pride of the school community and their heritages. Students, staff and families shared delicious recipes from countries around the world, along with cultural dances, music and art. Although the Shaw Avenue community could not be together in person to celebrate and share their cultures with one another, the virtual event was a great alternative to connect with each other during the pandemic.

“We are Shaw Strong,” said Shaw Avenue PTA Co-President Noemi Diaz. “No matter the obstacles that we have been thrown this year, we always find a way to come together as a community and as a family.”