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“Taste of the World” Literacy Week Celebration

Elementary students presenting about Korea.

Elementary students gathered in the FSDB Blind Library & Media Center for the final "Taste of the World" event during the last week of January, in celebration of Florida's 2020 Literacy Week, the theme for which was "BOOK Your Trip: Adventure Awaits!"

Librarian Joy Carriger took time out of her usual busy schedule to host a special festivity that made children's eyes sparkle and their taste buds delight, as well as expanded their minds. The event was literally and figuratively a "taste" of different cultures around the world based on the classic Cinderella story.

Elementary teachers used variants of the timeless Cinderella tale, and students received little passports to fill in during the week's activities.

Through structured presentations, students heard the Chinese, Russian, Italian, Mexican, Irish, and Korean variants of Cinderella. (The Irish version even has a male Cinderella named Cinderlad!) They studied their chosen culture, displayed artifacts, and shared information with the group.

Mary Bilancio's class had the most dramatic show-and-tell; students explained that Russia has 12 active volcanoes. All who took part also had the opportunity to experience an active volcano model! (Kindly lent from the Deaf Department's Lindheimer Library & Media Center).

After sharing of Cinderella tales, students sampled culinary treats from around the world. These included Italian cookies with Nutella spread, Chinese wrapped candies, Russian thumbprint cookies, Mexican tortilla chips, empanadas, and strawberry dulce de leche cookies, Irish scones, and Korean sweet potato sticks.

Carringer enthused, "This year, I was deeply impressed by the student presenters. Several shone as they described the cultures their classes had studied."

She thanked Reading Specialist Elisha Zuaro for mobilizing the teaching staff who "went above and beyond to bring the foods, artifacts, and a variety of resources to help students taste and explore the different cultures."

Students ended Literacy Week watching the video-described (voiced) Disney version of Cinderella, where goodness triumphs and Cinderella lives happily ever after.

By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services


About FSDB

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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