Diversity Day at EJR let’s students learn about other lands

Elena Kwoka moved from Ukraine to Pine Bush when she was just four years old. She and her family embraced their new life here in America. However, they have kept their Ukrainian culture close to their hearts and have passed their love of their culture on to the next generation in their family.


Two women dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothing, talk to a group of elementary students about Ukraine. There is a table with a large poster on it with facts about Ukraine.


Ms. Kwoka was part of Edward J. Russell Elementary School’s first ever Diversity Day. Students came through the gym to listen to the invited speakers who talked about their culture and home countries.

Ms. Kwoka’s children attend EJR and she herself is an English as a New Language teacher in Beacon. She knows what it is like to come to a new country not knowing the language.

“Kids are so vulnerable without language,” she said. “I get a gift every day having the opportunity to teach these students. It’s an honor to be a teacher. It’s a beautiful thing.”


A woman in a red dress stands in front of a group of young elementary students talking about her native land of Mexico.


A woman with long dark hair, wearing a multi-colored striped skirt and black shirt, talks to a group of elementary students about Mexico.


Next to her was Raquel who talked about her family’s journey from Mexico. She talked about the food that comes from Mexico, the culture, music and games they play.

Kids also learned about the rich history of Ireland, their customs, language and food.


A large trifold board with many items about Ireland. A woman and man sit near it and a large group of young elementary age students listen and learn about Ireland.


The students enjoyed learning so much about these countries and their history. Diversity Day will be an annual event!

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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