Kentwood – Meadowlawn Elementary students represented 30 different countries – from Albania to Vietnam – wearing ornate traditional clothes and waving colorful flags as they entered the gym Olympic-style.
To a crowd of cheering parents and teachers, the kindergarten through fifth-grade students took part in the recent Parade of Nations, honoring the countries they or their families come from.
The annual event honors students’ diversity and their countries of origin, said Principal Tim Hargis.
“Being able to do it all school and in person this year, with parents and families able to attend, made it even more special,” Hargis said.
The school’s diversity is worthy of a celebration, he said.
“Students have so much pride when they walk in the parade and hear the crowd cheering for them. The smiles on their faces say it all. We are celebrating them simply for being who they are and that is so special.”
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media.
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School News Network reports on the 20 public school districts in Kent County, which enroll more than 90,000 students. Founded in 2013, we are an editorially independent news site funded by Kent ISD, local districts and community sponsors, and powered by an experienced team of reporters, editors and photojournalists. We specialize in covering classroom teaching and learning, analyzing the many issues that enhance or discourage student success, and highlighting the education magic that happens each day in our public schools.