Each day during the month of May, students at Conshohocken Elementary School learned something new about Asian Pacific Islander Americans and their contributions to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Tree with red strips of paper on it saying what children wish for (kindness, happiness, friendship)

On CE's Wishing Tree, students hoped for things like love, kindness, friendship, and happiness.

“It’s important to learn about different cultures, because we are not all the same,” said CE kindergartener Remington Alexander. “We can learn new languages and how to be kind to others who are different than us.”

To help celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the children talked about the different countries that represent Asia and the Pacific Islands and looked at their flags. They also learned about famous people like Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, Olympic Ice Skaters Nathan Chen and Kristi Yamaguchi, Co-Founder of YouTube Steven Chen, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Co-inventor of the USB Ajay Bhatt.

Activities included writing wishes for Conshohocken Elementary School’s Wishing Tree like they do in Hong Kong for the Chinese Lunar New Year and trying their hand at origami. The students also enjoyed seeing videos and reading stories.

“I liked watching The Dumpling Song video and learning to sing it in a different language,” said CE kindergartener Rebecca Fendley.

Members of the Climate Team at CE developed lessons for each month. May’s celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was put together by CE staff members Lauren Shinton, Lauren Petruschke, and Amee Ferst. 

“I enjoy seeing the students celebrating others' differences and their thirst to learn more,” said Mrs. Ferst, CE kindergarten teacher. 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month occurs each year in May to honor the first Japanese immigrants who arrived in the United States at the beginning of the California Gold Rush in May 1843 and the Chinese immigrants who worked on the first Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed in May of 1869.