Each year, J. Colin English Elementary School in North Fort Myers offers a day-long Cinco de Mayo celebration that was even more important this year as the school moves toward magnet school status, said Principal Joe Williams, III.
"We've done this celebration for the last eight years, giving these students a chance to experience food and festivities of a different culture. We incorporate that into our curriculum. Parents will have the choice to select J. Colin English if they want their children to receive the highest quality education and prepare them for the 21st Century."
"Cultural celebrations are important,' said Assistant Principal Toni Walker, especially for the students and staff at J. Colin English.
"We promote cultural awareness and teach our students to embrace diversity. We are all unique and everyone has something wonderful to contribute to our learning environment. Parents and community members partner with our school and provide an extended learning opportunity for our students and we are exceedingly grateful for their participation.
"We are excited to have been selected by our District to become a Magnet School for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme."
"Presently we are in the candidacy phase of IB World School authorization and J. Colin English is the only elementary school offering this program in the West Zone", said Barbara Wagner, IB coordinator at J. Colin English. "Our Cinco de Mayo celebration is one expression of our commitment to teaching global awareness.
"Because we are working toward out International Baccalaureate World School Authorization, a primary year program for IB is very important to incorporate the cultural piece."
"As a culminating event, we have a celebration for Cinco de Mayo that also incorporates a variety of cultures to promote global or international-mindedness," said Walker.
"In our school mission statement it is our mission to inspire young people to become internationally minded world-changers. We invite anyone to take a tour of our school," officials said.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration has long been a favorite at the school.
North Fort Myers teacher and Cape resident Carmen Marquez was one of the key organizers of the event.
"We'd like to thank our sponsors. They are Publix, Costco and McDonald's on Pine Island Road," she said.