Young Scholars students in Baldwin Township learn about each other's cultures
Most of Augustine Chibinga's sixth-grade classmates never knew the youngster once lived in Zambia.
“I thought he was just from Africa or America,” said classmate Shanna Bates, 11, of Carrick.
People often mistakenly assume the 12-year-old came to the United States from Kenya, he said, and have little knowledge of the southern African country where he was born.
“Most people don't even know what Zambia is,” said Chibinga, of Beechview. “I'm not surprised, though.”
Chibinga had the chance to share information about the food, culture and economy of his homeland with students at Young Scholars of Western PA Charter School in Baldwin Township on Feb. 21 during the second annual International Mother Language Day Celebration.
Students in the school's nine classrooms spent the day studying a different nationality, representing the countries their classmates. Nations studied included Vietnam, Jordan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Zambia and the United States.
“It's kind of a melting pot,” school CEO Alpaslan Ozdogan said of the United States and, on a smaller scale, Young Scholars school. “The kids come from all different cultures. We are very diverse.”
The multilingual school, where all students are taught Spanish and Turkish, often celebrates different cultures, Ozdogan said. This helps the students be prepared for the future, he said.
“They're globalized,” Ozdogan said. “They can say, ‘Hey, I already know about that country.'”
The students also get to learn more about those whom they sit next to each day.
Bates said she was “just happy” to know more about Zambia and, in turn, Chibinga.
“That was cool,” she said. “It's like taking a whole new subject.”
Having an “expert” in the class to share firsthand stories about the countries only adds to the learning, said third-grade teacher Carly McPartland, whose class studied Mexico.
“Every place, like every person, has a different story,” she said. “We have students in the school that come from these countries. It's something that we want to celebrate.”
Third-grader Diego Ortega-Cavara, 8, who lived in Mexico for a year, brought a flag from his native land and Spanish documents to show his classmates.
“I thought it was fun. It was about a country that I haven't learned much about,” said third-grader Nicholas Spang, 8, of Overbrook. “He told me he was from Mexico last year, and I said, ‘That's cool. I wish I was from another country.'”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jefferson Hills’ fall fest in 5th year
- Baldwin-Whitehall officials aim to stop ‘revolving door’
- Caste Village festival boasts throwback rides
- Brentwood police chief placed on administrative leave
- Pleasant Hills sets ordinance banning farm animals
- Baldwin-Whitehall assistant superintendent lands new contract
- Bags, food can’t be brought into district facilities under new rules
- Brentwood council seems likely to vote for EMS provider
- Investigator begins review of Brentwood police department