A pageant of ethnic food, music, dance, drama, crafts, décor, and enthusiasm marked the celebration of diversity at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School’s Multicultural Night.

The April 7 event, held in the school’s main gym, drew between 300 and 500 guests throughout the course of the evening.  The gym was decorated with flags, banners, and balloons, and students and their families set up tables of ethnic food samples, photos, crafts, and other representations of their national backgrounds. Thirty-six nationalities are represented by the middle school population.

Upon their arrival, guests at Multicultural Night were issued “passports,” which would be stamped as they visited each “country.” The passports also doubled as the evening’s program schedule. Throughout the event, background music was being played with international songs as the selections.

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“It’s really great to see the students celebrating their own heritages,” said LCJSMS Principal Matt Block. “They are so eager to share the richness of their cultures with others.”

Entertainment by students included Irish Step Dancing; a dramatic presentation, coordinated by teacher Jamie Walter; American Step Dancers, advised by teacher Dr. Steffany Henion; a performance of international songs by the Bel  Canto vocal ensemble, directed by teacher Christopher Wolff; a violin performance with an international flair, directed by teacher Joann Manhardt; a guitar solo by student Keenan Buckley; and an Asian Indian dance performed by student Sandhiya Narasimharaj.

Multicultural Night was organized by LCJSMS French teacher Mary Lockshin and a planning committee comprising guidance counselors Cristina Martinez and Stefanie Jurista and teachers Suanne Benowitz, Theresa Martin, Joelle Minet, and Carolyn Mozes.

The Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School PTO, under the leadership of its president Mary Mokuvos, contributed $1000 in funding for Multicultural Night.