During the fall term, primary (1st through 3rd grade) homerooms study a country or culture in-depth. The Rainbow Conference, usually held during the winter, is a school-wide celebration of the people and cultures of the world.
The day starts with a performance for the whole school by a local cultural act, such as Ukranian dancers, Native American drummers, or, most recently, the Brazilian drumming group Samba Ja. The rest of the day is spent in small-group, hands-on classes about preparing food, making music, dancing and making crafts from various cultures. Classes are offered by teachers, parents, community members, and international students from the University of Oregon. Teachers often offer classes about the culture their homeroom has been studying. Classes offered in the past include Chinese Papercutting, Bellydancing, Native American Fry Bread, African Drumming, Tai Chi, and Sweets from India.
Family School students look forward to the Rainbow Conference each year. They share knowledge of their culture with each other, help decorate the school in preparation, and older students participate in a variety of helpful manners. The purpose of the Rainbow Conference, besides having fun, is to help children gain a greater appreciation of the differences and similarities among various cultures.
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