Diverse ‘Night Market’ fuses cultures, unifies school community

Diverse ‘Night Market’ fuses cultures, unifies school community
All photos contributed.

By Kathy Chouteau

The West County Mandarin School (WCMS)—a West County Unified School District (WCCUSD) Mandarin immersion school in Pinole—celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and a Mid-Autumn Festival Fri., Sept. 29 while also throwing their community’s first Night Market.

The school community events were a fusion of different cultures coming together during the special night. “Students and families [had] the opportunity to be exposed to the beauty of diversity because of the school’s values and mission,” according to organizers.

Organizers relayed a number of the family-friendly activities people enjoyed Friday night, including mooncake and lantern making—as well as mooncake tasting—playing the game Loteria and taking in a “breath-taking and impressive” performance by Danza Azteca Guadalupana, a local dance troupe.

The school’s 5th grade students and their families kept busy that night hosting the Night Market, offering for sale egg rolls, tacos, tres leches, handmade artwork, bath bombs, jewelry and bookmarks, per organizers. Proceeds will benefit the students’ annual field trip.

Organizers said that during the evening, students and families learned about and embraced one another’s uniqueness while strengthening their community.

WCMS is a WCCUSD public school that swung open its doors Aug. 21, 2017 with three kindergarten classes; organizers report it will expand to offer grades K-8 by adding a new grade each year. Currently, WCMS has grades K-6th, approximately 480 students and is open to all West Contra Costa County residents. The diverse school reserves 50 percent of its spots for students who are foster youth, low-income or English-language learners. Learn more here.