LAUP Preschools Celebrate Armenian Cultural Month
With October being recognized as Armenian Cultural Month, some LAUP preschools celebrated the rich history and culture of Armenia with students and their parents. The activities were part of the preschools' emphasis on spreading cultural awareness among the children.
At Rose and Alex Pilibos Preschool in Hollywood, children were exposed to Armenian books, photos, videos and food. The preschool also had a professional musician demonstrate Armenian instruments (duduk, shvi, davul, zurna) to the children, who danced to live music.
The preschoolers also visited an Armenian bakery, where they bought traditional Armenian bread, called lavash.
"We wanted to introduce the children to the Armenian culture and give them a better understanding of the Armenian traditions," said Lead Teacher Tamar Odabashian. "The children really enjoyed the activities, especially the music and dance. The parents appreciated what we did, too. Some of them told us their children were very excited and talked about their cultural experience at home. They were glad that we introduced the Armenian culture to the children."
Astghik Saakyan, a Lead Teacher at ARS Nairy Preschool in Montebello, said October was a special month for the staff and students. "We exposed the children to the history of Armenia, its location, culture, language, songs, food and music," she said.
Activities included studying the Armenian alphabet, and learning more about its founder, Mesrop Mashtots. Children painted pictures of Mashtots, as well as the Mountain of Ararat, which is a treasured symbol of Armenia. The pictures were displayed in an art gallery at the preschool.
"We also showed photos of Armenia, talked about the country and its people, and showed the children Armenian musical instruments. We also sang songs and ate traditional food," Saakyan said. "We also had parents read books in Armenian to the children, and the teachers dressed in traditional Armenian costumes for one day."
Saakyan stressed that the preschool exposes its preschoolers to other cultural events throughout the year as part of its curriculum. "We have to learn more about every culture, not just Armenian," she explained. "In our school, we respect all cultures."