DePaolo Middle School is going around the world Thursday evening, Feb. 23 with the third annual Taste of Culture event. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., authentic food, dress, and music will be featured so that students and families can experience the various cultures in the DePaolo school community.
School counselor Steve Nyerick said that the program has only grown since the first one was held two years ago. “It’s been an overwhelming success,” he said.
Last year, over 500 people attended, and Nyerick said that they are anticipating at least that many this year. “It has expanded past what we had intended.”
As part of the Southington Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) coalition, each school in town has monthly assets to support the Asset Building Community (ABC). The asset of the month is equality and social justice where students place a higher value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty in the world.
The Taste of Culture to Stop Hunger, sponsored by ABC, will equally represent students’ backgrounds while giving them a sample of the various cultures and allowing families to participate. Between 50 and 60 STEPS student representatives will also be on hand during the event.
“It’s kind of global,” Nyerick said. “Everybody is one.”
For the first time, the event will benefit Stop Hunger Now, an international organization that sends food and aid to people in need throughout the world. A suggested one dollar donation will help raise money to donate to the organization.
“We want to bring an event to the school that goes beyond the school,” Nyerick said. Adult education and ESL learners will be participating along with the DePaolo students. Event coordinators hope that Kennedy Middle School can jump on board and host an event like this one in the future.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Jen Cardines, email her at JCardines@SouthingtonObserver.com.