A Diversity Day at St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary School saw students celebrating their differences and listening to new perspectives.
"Diversity Day is a full day celebration for Grade 7 students to engage in activities that focus on developing their understanding of multicultural, multiracial, equity and social issues," said St. Teresa of Calcutta Teacher Nadia Margani.
Joining in on the activities were Grade 7 students from St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School who worked collaboratively with St. Teresa students on activities meant to strengthen their relationship with God by straying away from prejudice and ignorance.
"What I learned about Diversity were isms like sexism, lookism, ableism, ageism, and racism," said St. Patrick student J.C. Orosco.
"I also learned a new game that our class can play about balancing bean bags on our heads that can remind us of diversity, and how we need to be balanced with one another like me and my friends; we have different cultures, ages and genders but we can still be great friends."
Students also watched a short film, called "For Angela," which showed the consequences of bullying.
"'For Angela' taught us that mocking someone for their race, looks, culture, or colour of skin, isn't right," said St. Teresa of Calcutta student Anastasia Siyamendo.
"You shouldn't try to impress all your friends by hurting another person for who they are."
Building off that, St. Patrick student Damara Lashley added, "I have seen many diversity videos over the years, but they did not have an impact on me, but this video showed how all the people who played roles felt and how what you do and say affect others."
By emphasizing the importance of acceptance at the elementary level, the hope is that these lessons will carry students through their life journey.
"Together, students had discovered and celebrated how their own actions and voices can create an enriching society that is empowered by diversity and strengthened by inclusivity," said Margani.