Pittsburgh Banksville K-5 International Food and Information Fair
On Thursday February 16, 2012 Pittsburgh Banksville K-5 was alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of native cuisine from over 17 different countries at the school’s International Food and Information Fair. More than 320 parents, family members, students, community members, and staff celebrated the many diverse cultures that make Banksville a thriving neighborhood and the school an integral centerpiece of that community.
To fund the event, Pittsburgh Banksville PTA won a competitive grant funded by the AXA foundation through the National PTA, which is designed to commemorate National PTA’s “Take Your Family to School Week” and promote awareness of the National PTA’s six standards for Family-School partnerships. Pittsburgh Banksville’s PTA was one of only 45 PTA’s nationwide and one of only two in the state of Pennsylvania to win the grant.
The International Food and Information Fair was the result of a dynamic working relationship between the school staff and the Banksville PTA and a picture-perfect example of what can happen when parents, teachers, and community member’s work together to develop programs that effectively engage families and the community for the benefit of students.
In addition to incredible foods from countries such as Uzbekistan, Greece, Argentina, India, Pakistan, and Tanzania, the event included music from Africa and an Uzbek violinist. Guest were additionally treated to a Greek fashion show, Mehendi tattoos from India, and family puzzles and games.
The night wasn’t all about food and fun as families spent time learning about the National PTA’s Standards for Family-School partnerships and understanding how important it is that families become actively involved, equal partners with the school in their child’s education. Each family completed surveys pertaining to the standards and brainstormed ways the school and families can work together to achieve the highest rating on all six standards. The evening was capped-off by raffles, more food from the melting pot and a proclamation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives presented by Representative Dan Deasy proclaiming February 16, 2012 Pittsburgh Banksville International Food and Information Fair day.
Pittsburgh Banksville Principal David May and staff, together with the school’s PTA President Carrie Piesecki, the PTA Board and members, spent countless hours crafting the program that was well attended, fun and informative. All agree that this special event will have a long term positive affect on the staff, families, and most importantly the students of Pittsburgh Banksville.