Millersville lends a helping hand for a plethora of diversity at the World Food Fair

Jackie Lafferty
News Writer

Everything from exotic Hungarian goulash to local Pennsylvania Dutch whoopie pies was featured at the Eshlemena Elementary World Food Fair this past Thursday. Parent volunteers provided dishes from 24 different countries to students and visitors as a way to promote diversity.
The gym was transformed into a melting pot of cultures, with various booths and parent volunteers dressed in traditional clothing of the booth they were providing food for. Millersville students did their part in making this event a success by volunteering their time in various ways, such as handing out programs and organizing crafts for the students to make.
Upon arrival at the event, Millersville students handed out plates as well as a passport and program to the children and family members. The students received a stamp in their passports for every country they sampled food from.
The front hallway was filled with captivating pictures from previous Millersville study abroad photo contest winners, such as the lush Scottish landscape and elephants in their South African habitat. The hallways were hung with various flags which were hand drawn and colored by the students.
Before entering the gym filled with the booths, food and decorations, students could opt to enter the arts and crafts room where Venetian carnival masks were crafted using feathers and various supplies.
Millersville students became involved in this seven-year tradition three years ago when the director of the program participated as a parent and reached out to the Office of Global Education. Students who studied abroad became involved in the program as part of the criteria for joining the Global Education Ambassador program. In this program, students maintain connections to the Office of Global Education by participating in two activities to promote studying abroad as well as creating their own event.
Junior Danielle Croft, who studied abroad last fall in London, said she enjoyed sampling many dishes such as the lo mein noodles from Malaysia and enjoyed the chance to interact with the young students.
“I think the World Food Fair is beneficial to elementary school students because they get pre-exposure to culture and diversity,” said Croft.
Also involved was Global Education intern Anthony Saraceno, who worked as mascot Scully to take pictures with the children.
“I thought it was interesting to expose the kids to the many costumes around the world. It is a great way to express diversity and a great opportunity for Millersville to help reaching out to the community,” he said.
Senior Melanie Huth agreed that a great impression was made on the elementary kids who seemed to have a great time at the fair. To prospective students she says, “You should absolutely study abroad, you will meet wonderful people from all around the world, have the opportunity to travel and be immersed in another culture, and it will even impress future employers.”
Students interested in studying abroad for the fall, spring, or summer programs should stop by the Office of Global Education and Partnerships located at the Cumberland House on South George Street to learn more information about specific programs.