I was so glad to be introduced to the Kid World Citizen website the other day. The website, created by Becky Morales, aims to provide educational activities that help young minds go global. While looking through its pages of language, geography, and arts and crafts activities (to name just a few!), I came across an amazing resource for families across the globe: the Kid World Citizen's 2013 Global Diversity Calendar. The calendar includes religious holidays, non-religious celebrations, and multicultural festivals around the world - all in one, printer-friendly place.
Of course, I had to find out more about this wonderful multicultural family resource and I was so glad Becky was up to answering a few of my most-pressing questions about the 2013 Global Diversity Calendar and her site. Here is my brief Q&A session with Becky:
Aimee: What made you decide to put together a Global Diversity Calendar?
Becky: My goal is to help parents and teachers teach their children about the world: whether it's geography, learning about global cultures, or taking care of the Earth. I have always featured a lot of holidays and festivals, and ways that families can celebrate, but I've actually never compiled a comprehensive calendar. One of my loyal readers asked me to put one together, and I had so much fun scouring the internet to compile the religious and secular days.
Aimee: How long have you been publishing a Global Diversity Calendar?
Becky: This is our first year! I plan on continually updating it throughout the year as more readers share important dates with me. I am also excited to update it every year with the current dates.
Aimee: What has your experience been in putting the Global Diversity Calendar together? Have you received input from people around the world?
Becky: I am such a big proponent of "global collaboration" and having kids work on projects with peers outside their own community - and this is exactly how I was able to gather such a diverse list of celebrations around the world. I used my site, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to ask for input, and received emails, messages, and comments with dates that people felt were important inclusions.
Aimee: What type of comments and suggestions have you received from people who've used your Global Diversity Calendar as a multicultural family resource?
Becky: The response has been extremely positive. One of my favorite comments was an email from a mom in rural Wisconsin: "I don't have the money to take my children around the world, but by doing these activities with them, I'm able to bring the world into our home. THANK YOU for all the you do!"
Aimee: For anyone who is a big fan of the Global Diversity Calendar (like me!), what other resources should we be sure to check out on your site?
Becky: Within the calendar, I am working on linking all of the celebrations with activities from my site - often I have lesson plans, recipes, and crafts associated with each holiday. One of my most popular, more general geography posts has been the "My Place in the World" project, which is a great project to introduce kids to their place in the world. If you are interested in talking to your kids about race and ethnicity, check out the "Start a Conversation about Race with Kids" and "The Danger of a Single Story" and Teaching Kids to Avoid Stereotypes, which give parents resources to start the conversations. Also, if there is a certain country or region readers are interested, the top menu is a drop-down list of countries I have referenced so far.
Thank you, Becky, for taking the time to share more details on your 2013 Global Diversity Calendar and the Kid World Citizen website with us. I, for one, can't wait to check out the additional resources on the Kid World Citizen and enjoy them with my sons.
How My Family Plans to Use this Wonderful Multicultural Resource
From the moment I stumbled upon the calendar, I printed out a copy to hang on our refrigerator so it would be a constant, visual reminder of all of the upcoming holidays, celebrations and festivals - even if we don't typically celebrate them or even have an understanding for what they commemorate. Thanks to Kid World Citizen, I have slowly started looking up anything I'm not familiar with right now - like Mahayana New Year on Sunday, January 27, which is celebrated by Mahayana Buddhists on the first full moon day in January. I know the calendar also will prove to be a great way to strike up conversations with friends, colleagues and others who celebrate the various religious and/or multicultural holidays to find out how they commemorate each one through activities, events and meals.
I'm also going to use the 2013 Global Diversity Calendar to plan our monthly activities, actively searching out local festivals, events or activities that celebrate upcoming holidays. Even though it's only January, I'm scoping out how we can celebrate La Chandeleur (or jour des crêpes) on Saturday, February 2; Chinese New Year on Sunday, February 10; Mardi Gras on Tuesday, February 12; and International Book Giving Day on Thursday, February 14. As you can tell, for us, February is shaping up to be a fun-filled, action-packed month full of amazing, delicious and wonderful multicultural celebrations. And, there are a lot more months in the year left to go, showing just how wonderful 2013 is shaping up for all of us.
How do you plan on using the Kid World Citizen's 2013 Global Diversity Calendar? Please share your stories, thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
Here's to world citizens - and celebrating holidays and festivals from across the globe!