Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Month 

When a video of a young hula dancer played on the white board in Allison Keating’s classroom, some first graders caught their breath.  

“She’s just a little girl,” Eva, who is six years old, said. “How does she know how to do that?”  

Juliane, a classmate, quickly piped up.    

“She’s not a little girl,” said Juliane, who is seven. “She might be six or seven years old or something.” 

Soon the six and seven-year-olds in Kent Primary School’s four first grade classes were waving their arms, tapping their feet and doing their own hula dances. 

The children celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month by dancing a Hawaiian hula, drawing Japanese cherry trees, cutting out and coloring Birds of Paradise from Papua New Guinea and creating masks of Chinese dragons. 

“We have read alouds, crafts, PowerPoints and more that we are working on,” said Teacher Corinne Phillips. “We think that this will be a great enrichment and equitable opportunity for the first grade here at KPS.”   

Each of the four first-grade classrooms was set up as a different nation and as the children went from one room to the next, they learned a little about the history, culture and geography of the various countries.  

Looking at the Hawaiian Islands on a global map, Ronin asked “Why is Hawaii so small?” 

 His friend Ethan answered: “It’s small for the United States, but it’s big for humans.”