heritage pg 3 3-21-24

Heritage Month displays bring
cultural awareness to PHS
As students roam the halls of Putnam High School, they are greeted by vibrant displays adorning the intersection at Putnam High School affectionately known as “Clipper Crossing.” These displays, dedicated to various heritage months, serve as more than just decorations; they are powerful tools fostering inclusivity, understanding, and appreciation among students and staff alike.
The heritage month displays have become a new tradition at PHS. While the display themes are typically inspired by the National Heritage Month Calendar, the elements of each unique display are currently designed by social studies teacher Dr. Melissa Zablonski and library media specialist Lisa Vance. The significance of these displays lies in their visual appeal and the messages they convey. Each month, a distinct cultural heritage is highlighted, providing an opportunity for students to learn about traditions, history, and contributions of various ethnicities and communities — from Black History Month to Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, and more.
The displays serve as a platform for students to celebrate their own cultural heritage. Earlier this school year, students designed and created the display titled “Around the World at PHS,” which featured information about the school’s multilingual learners’ countries of origin, including commonly used phrases, prominent landmarks, popular culinary dishes, representative flags, famous people, and national currency. Seeing their traditions represented and celebrated in the school environment validates their identity and fosters a sense of pride in their heritage. This affirmation of cultural identity is crucial for promoting self-esteem and confidence among students. Ana Carolina Lima, a 10th grade PHS student originally from Brazil, said, “I really liked it, and on behalf of all Brazilians, we felt happy because other students saw a little of our culture, and we had a lot of fun doing it!”
The displays also send a clear message that all cultures are valued and respected. This sense of inclusivity helps create a welcoming environment where students from diverse backgrounds feel accepted and supported.
This month, the display celebrates Women’s History Month, this year’s theme is “Women who Advocate for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity.” The display highlights female advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and society at large. Barbie is also featured throughout the display with an opportunity for students and staff to explore Mattel’s history of creating more inclusive dolls and the impact the Barbie movie had on viewers because of its diverse representation of women. One panel of the display invites students and staff to match the Barbie dolls to their famous counterparts. Social studies teacher John Allen said, “One can’t walk by Clipper Crossing without seeing the colorful and engaging installations each month. In social studies, every month’s display has a connection to what we do. This month in particular there is a fantastic mix of the history of women’s rights and the current fight for equality.”


RocketTheme Joomla Templates