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School system hosts Pre-K Multicultural Festival

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Walt Disney World's Epcot Center, near Orlando, Fla., has the World Showcase, but Clayton county residents will be able to take their own quick tour around the world tonight -- without having to leave the county.

Officials from Clayton County Public Schools' Pre-Kindergarten Department are inviting parents, students and other county residents to come to the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, which is located at 3499 Rex Road, in Rex, tonight, to attend the district's first-ever Pre-K Multicultural Festival.

The festival will last from 6 p.m., to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

During the event, visitors will be able to sample food, hear a storyteller, watch tai chi and karate demonstrations, and see displays depicting many of the more than 28 cultures represented each school day by students in Clayton County pre-kindergarten classrooms.

"First of all, we want people to find out 'Who are your neighbors?' and we also want to help them gain a better understanding of different cultures," said Cynthia Roberts, the assistant coordinator of the Clayton County Public Schools' Pre-Kindergarten Department, and organizer of the festival.

Roberts said the cultures represented in pre-kindergarten classrooms in the school system come from a variety of countries, ranging from Mexico, to Japan, to Dominica, to Kenya. She added that parents have volunteered to bring traditional food dishes from countries such as Venezuela and Vietnam, to name a few.

According to Roberts, representatives from the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department will be giving the tai chi and karate demonstrations, while storytellers will be reciting old tales in the traditional dialects of the stories.