Marin Primary & Middle School students develop an understanding of their role in the larger global community through interactive experiences designed to immerse students in other cultures through a vibrant curriculum that weaves global awareness into every subject area. Connections to the wider world often begin by understanding and celebrating the diversity within our own school community. The diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds of our families provide opportunities for students to learn from others and to enrich and extend the program in classrooms and specialists classes, from music and art to literature and science. The third grade study of Africa, for example, includes music, art, science, math, and literature, and concludes with a students’ Keynote presentations on research projects. Primary school students deepen their understanding of Spanish when they use Skype and email to communicate with penpals at the Colegio Williams de Cuernavaca in Mexico. Teachers from Colegio Williams spend a week teaching in our classrooms, and our teachers reciprocate.
The connections that flow naturally from our diverse community, combined with the intentional curriculum, lead to a school calendar filled of celebrations that bring to life the students’ learning and understanding of each other and their roles as global citizens. International Day, a long-celebrated ritual at MP&MS, is an opportunity for each grade to learn more about a specific culture, often that of a child or family in the class. In addition to assemblies featuring different aspects of life in other countries, the art and Spanish departments create a Dia de los Muertos display, classrooms share holiday observances including festivals of light, and students participate in a reading program designed to support schools and libraries in West Marin and in developing countries.