Awbrey Park Elementary celebrates diversity at annual Community Culture Night

    Awbrey Park Elementary students, parents and community celebrate at the school's annual Community Culture Night, Jan. 25, 2018. (KMTR image)

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Awbrey Park Elementary School held its annual Community Culture Night Thursday evening, an event where students, faculty and community members gather to celebrate cultural diversity and togetherness.

    But the theme for year's event was especially inclusive.

    The gymnasium was packed while the crowd celebrated culture through Hawaiian dance, music from around the world, and singing.

    "I've learned a lot about the accordian and, like, their tradition in Russian, and I also learned about Japanese drumming," explained 5th grader C.J. Hunt.

    "There's a bunch of places that I would like to go when I grow up, like Japan and France and all these places, but having those places brought to me is especially special," said 5th grader and class representative Gavin Fish.

    But in addition to celebrating diversity, the school celebrated unifying together under this year's special theme.

    "The kids here at Awbrey Park just love the school and know that they can do something, too," said the school’s student vice president, 5th grader Rachel Young.

    The theme: “To Impact the World with your Own Two Hands."

    "It's just nice to bring people together and just see the gratitude that they have for each other and awareness, and just moments of happiness and peace amongst everybody," said 5th grade teacher Jamie Tait.

    But Tait says she hopes the event's lesson is something her students can take with them through the rest of their lives.

    "One of our favorite quotes is, 'Be kinder than necessary,' because you don't know what people are dealing with,” she said, “so it means a lot to all of us to have nights like this."

    And the students said they have big plans to help their community and those beyond by making the world a better place...two hands a time.

    Community Culture Night was started just a few years ago, but it's something the kids and staff say they want to continue for years to come.

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