Fourth-graders learning first-hand about Hmong culture and traditions

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fourth graders in the School District of La Crosse have been taking field trips to a village in Laos to learn about Hmong culture and history.
Of course, the students aren’t literally traveling half-way around the world; they’re actually at the Hmong Cultural Community Center in La Crosse.

For about a week, the Center has been turned into a village where the students from elementary schools in the district learn about the customs and traditions of the Hmong people.

Students learned how rice is made once it comes from the field, and got an opportunity to use some tools that were made from Hmong people who currently live in the coulee region. Students also had an opportunity to learn about Hmong artwork, and tried on some traditional Hmong clothing.

Wendy Mattison, the Hmong Education Project coordinator from the School District of La Crosse, says they hope this project leads to similar cultural experiences for students in the future.

"I’m calling this the first great conversation because what’s happening is as we’re providing this experience, people are coming forward and suggesting possibilities for the future," Mattison said.

Tomorrow is the last day for fourth graders in the district to experience the Hmong culture first-hand. Mattison hopes they continue to work with the Hmong Culture Center and other community centers for future projects.


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