Read Aloud to expand diversity in Austin schools

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(ABC 6 News) – During Austin Public School’s Welcome Week, students at Woodson Kindergarten Center were given the opportunity to hear stories from around the world.

It is part of an initiative to allow students to hear from people from different backgrounds and introduce diversity at a young age.

People from the community volunteer to read stories to the kindergartners and share stories from their own backgrounds and cultures.

“It’s an opportunity for the kids to learn something, because those stories, the goal is to empower them and to promote togetherness,” said Herve Idjidina, one of the volunteers who read at the school. “For kids it also adds value and stress on diversity.” Idjidina is also a success teacher for APS.

While it is teaching students life lessons in accepting one another, the adult readers take away a lot from the read aloud as well.

“I love sharing a little bit about the different cultures that live here and getting to choose fun stories that represent me,” said Varinh Vanvugt. “They represent a little bit of our traditions and sharing our traditions and culture with the kids is really fun to do.”

The read aloud takes place at the school’s annual welcome week, and many of the readers say they are already excited to come back and read next year.