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How do I get a Cultural Night started? reposted

12 years 11 months ago #151749 by Lisa @ PTO Today
How do I get a Cultural Night started? reposted was created by Lisa @ PTO Today
[question below reposted from Q & A for Jackie86 -- Has anyone run a cultural night and could help Jackie with some ideas on how to get this event started? What worked and didn't work for your cultural night? ~ Lisa]

How can I create and reach out to School Staff to do a Cultural Night ?
12 years 11 months ago #151834 by MaryS
We do a cultural night that started small and has grown. I would suggest starting small with a cultural pot-luck dinner and seeing if there is anyone who wants to sign up to do entertainment. For instance, we have had some kids do their traditional Indian dance and other do Irish step dance at our night and it has been a big hit. Would suggest putting a notice in you upcoming newsletter to see if anyone is interested helping out (avoid using the word "chair" -- it scares people off) Ideally you would get people from different cultures to help organize.

We have found that the key is to promote it heavily both to the kids and the parents-- newsletters, website, in-class promotion if the teachers let you. If the kids are excited about it, they will beg their parents and they will all be more likely to come.

Each year we have added new things to our cultural night, such as hands on activities and crafts.
GOod luck,
12 years 11 months ago #151874 by Nan
Our PTO ran a 2 hour "International Night". The idea was simple: Families who donated Cold or Hot dishes, from Breakfast to Dessert items, were invited to the event. Families were asked to donate, at a minimum, enough food to feed their family. This event has grown in popularity.

Place cards identified each dish by name and country. The 1 hour buffet style dinner was followed by 1 hour of music and dance. Ultimately, our pre-school families requested popular music to dance to instead of the cultural music we collected.

Keep in mind that an event where food is served and a cover fee is not collected, families who do not donate may show up. Also, a family who reserved seats for 4 (and thus bring a dish for 4+) may show up with 10+ people.

We have run out of food early due to unanticipated guests and the overindulgent guests who help themselves to more food than they could possibly eat because they wish to try a little of everything. It is easier to plan for and discourage unanticipated guests than an overindulgent ones.

By the way, the staff ran this event since they new more about our culturally diverse students than we did (the parents running the PTO.) Children dressed paper puppets with their cultural attire and were used as decorations. Also, cultural gift baskets were donated then raffled off. This paid for all the expenses. We have financially broken even each year. Yeah!!!
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