ESCONDIDO — For the seventh year, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is taking children and their parents on an in-depth cultural roots tour.
The annual Roots series began Feb. 17 with a lesson on the Philippines, the island nation in the Southeast Pacific. About 700 people attended the museum’s kick-off event, according to Juliette Brezin, director of marketing and events for the museum.
“It’s really become a way for us to involve the community,” she said. “The kids really get to be introduced to new cultures. That month will revolve around the country being featured. Every day the kids get to learn something about the Philippines.”
The event consisted of music, dancing, food, interactive storytelling and crafts in a jammed-packed two-hour program. In addition, the museum’s Kids Global Village, a permanent fixture, is transformed into a Filipino display for the event and subsequent several weeks.
As for the program, Brezin said it is short and concise to ensure the kids are focused and do not lose interest.
In addition, the museum brought in Jsix’s Executive Chef Anthony Sinsay, who conducted a short food presentation, while the museum offered different Filipino snacks and food samples.
The kids also enjoyed creating crafts whether it was coloring the flag or making various Filipino items.
“Those events are entirely designed for kids, but involve the whole family,” Brezin said.
Perhaps more exciting, she added, is the growth of the series. When the series began, about 150 people attended the first event.
The museum began targeting specific cultures with large populations in the county and creating relationships with various groups within those communities to perform, speak or play music.
As a result, word began to spread and now the series is a popular destination.
“What was really powerful was different community members reaching out and wanting to get involved,” Brezin said. “It was to introduce people to different cultures in their own county. Because we’ve been running the series for a few years now, we have good contacts in the community.”
Another benefit, she explained, is as the program has grown and become more successful, other ethnic communities are reaching out to be featured and get involved.
“People just want to be involved and that is very exciting,” Brezin said. “We are encouraging people to learn something new about a new culture.”
The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum will host six community events this year celebrating different cultures represented in the county. Next up is Mexico on April 28 followed by Germany on June 16, China on Aug. 18, Ireland on Oct. 20 and Argentina on Dec. 15.
However, admission will charged beginning with the August event, which costs $8 for general admission, $5 for military and $1 for EBT cardholders, Brezin said.
The Roots series is funded through grants from the Nissan Foundation and the County of San Diego. For more information about San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum’s Roots Series, visit www.sdcdm.org/roots.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.