Burlington Elementary students expand their global perspective with Up With People

A global education program, Up With People, visited students at Burlington Elementary School on February 25 to engage students in different multicultural awareness activities. The volunteer group is made up of 80 people from 17 countries, and tours throughout cities across the globe. The group members worked with Burlington students to foster awareness of other countries and cultures through various programming such as a design-a-flag activity, a multicultural trivia game, and a multicultural dance.

Burlington’s attendance clerk Tyra Toepfer’s daughter Aria, age 19, is participating in the Up With People program. The group travels to a different city every week to conduct volunteer service in the community and perform an upbeat musical show. The group is staying in Lafayette for the week and Ms. Toepfer thought it would be an excellent opportunity for the group to visit Burlington. “The students know Aria because she went to Burlington and she works at the school over the summer, so it is really fun for them to learn about what she is doing and where she is traveling.”

Third grade student, Zoey, enjoyed participating in the design-a-flag activity in which each student created their own small flag and pieced them together to create a single larger flag. She said the activity helped her see that everyone is different, but simultaneously part of a larger system. “We are many, we are one,” said Zoey, repeating Up With People’s mantra.When asked why it’s important to learn about other cultures, Zoey said, “I want to be a traveller when I grow up and it’s important to me to learn other languages so I can get along with other people.”

Second grade student, Sebastian, was asked which country he wants to visit the most. He proclaimed, “All of them!”

The visit from Up With People is a timely one for Burlington students. “We are working on creating a new focus for our school, STEM, with a focus on global leadership, and Up With People’s programming ties into what we are trying to achieve at Burlington,” said Ms. Toepfer. She continued, “Many of our students have not yet been out of Longmont. For them to see students from other countries, helps them to expand their mindsets and explore new cultures.”

Kindergarten student, Jacob, said his favorite activity of the day was the multicultural dance he learned in the gym. “It’s important to keep learning new stuff,” said Jacob.

Second grade student, Lola, also enjoyed learning new dance moves and learning about new cultures. “Traveling is fun. You can adventure to other places and meet new people.”