Originally created 03/19/03

Pupils get view of other cultures at school's international festival



Sabrina Dunn, a fourth-grader at Lake Forest Hills Elementary School, dances to a Spanish song at the event.

Spin around the world

Some Augusta-area pupils crossed the border Tuesday, experiencing a variety of cultures without leaving the Garden City.

The "Crossing the Border" International Festival, co-sponsored by the Cullum Lecture Series and the Augusta State University International Student Organization, showcased different cultures through food, dance, song and art.

The series, which began more than 30 years ago, is an interdisciplinary program aimed at providing the community with access to experts in a variety of fields.

In keeping with the university's mission of community outreach, Dr. Janet Sandarg, a Spanish professor and organizer of the event, invited pupils from Lake Forest Hills Elementary School to participate in the festival.

"We really wanted to include the younger kids," Dr. Sandarg said.

Armed with cameras, Lake Forest parents crowded the stage anxiously aiming for the perfect shot of their child's debut performance.

"This is wonderful," said Kathleen Brown, who walked from her McDowell Street home with her 2-year-old son Clayton to see her daughters perform.

The pupils performed several Latin American songs, complete with choreographed dances.

This was the first year the elementary school has participated in the Cullum Lecture Series. Lake Forest Hills is one of three Elementary School Foreign Languages Model Programs in the area and the only school in Richmond County that provides pupils in all grades with 30 minutes of Spanish instruction each day.

"I like it, but sometimes it can be hard," fifth-grader Maggie Brown said. "You really have to pay attention."

Mrs. Brown said both of her daughters love taking Spanish and use every opportunity they have to demonstrate what they know.

"They really like to show off their skills at the Mexican restaurant," she said.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552 or ashlee.griggs@augustachronicle.com.