LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On Saturday, Jan. 27, LISA Academy held its 7th annual Language and Culture Festival.
A total of 2,100 children attend the public charter school, and they come from a variety of backgrounds, administrators said.
"This is a time when we celebrate the diversity of our student population through poetry and song and dance, and the students do all of the presentations themselves," Assistant Superintendent Luanne Baroni said.
Attendees also got a chance to sample food from the various countries. All of it was prepared by students, including Shreeya Khullar who made an Argentinian dessert.
"I think it was pretty cool because you could see that just because something was from a different country doesn't mean it tastes bad. Apparently it was pretty good," Khullar said of her dessert, which was all gone at the time of our interview.
Khullar, an 8th grader, said attending a charter school and participating in activities like Saturday's festival has broadened her horizons.
"It's also nice to enrich yourself in things you're not used to because it can help you open up to new experiences and meet new people, and that's important," she said.
Administrators hope the students will take those lessons and apply them throughout their college years and beyond.
"That's what we want our students to know and to embrace - that you can work with and get along with folks who maybe didn't come from your same background, maybe don't even speak the same language," Baroni said. "But we have to learn to work with them and we think it's important to embrace that and teach it to our students."
Despite ongoing debate in Arkansas over charter schools and their place in the education system, LISA Academy is looking forward to a future of educating young minds of all backgrounds.
"I think school choice is important to all charter schools because parents have to choose to send their students to a charter school," saod Baroni. "I think it's important to offer different opportunities to families in the community."
LISA Academy is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline to apply is Feb. 4.
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