Liberty Middle School in West Orange Holds Cultural Expo

Asst. Principal Aixa Garcia, right, with her mom and students, prepare bruschetta. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Il Pucino pio, aka "The Chicken Dance," Italy. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
"Mi Bendicion," Dominican Republic. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Zumba Instrutor Carol Fastiggi and parent Paula Petrucelli. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Principal Bob Klemt and event organizer Sue Zaccaro. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - In a township that boasts 54 nationalities and languages spoken, West Orange public schools are filled with children and teens of every race, color, and creed imaginable. Liberty Middle School held its second annual Expo.

Science teacher Sue Zaccaro spearheaded the event that drew hundreds to the Expo, along with the students, teachers, and staff, who were dressed in cultural garb or sporting the "Celebrate Diversity" tee shirts being sold in the gym. The gym was transformed into a multicultural extravaganza featuring booths and craft activities from various continents and countries. A stage was also set up,where songs, dances, and even a Taekwondo exhibition were performed.

France, the Dominican Republic, Italy, India, South Africa, China, Ireland, the Phillipines, and Korea were represented in the entertainment, which was topped off by LMS Band teacher Jay Gitter's version of "O Sole Mio," accompanied by Orchestra teacher Dave Rimelis.

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Carole Fastiggi, LMS parent, taught Zumba in the Aerobics room and Cooking lessons featuring bruschetta (Italy), tostones (Puerto Rico), and piononos (Argentina) were held. Sodexo, the district's food vendor, served up meals from Italy, France, Mexico, China and more. Students brought in desserts from countries like Ethiopia, Italy, Argentina, and the United States.

The atmosphere was festive and the crowd enthusiastic.  Principal Bob Klemt, dressed in traditional German clothing, epitomized the spirit of the evening as West Orange diversity was aknowledged and applauded.



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