Hathaway Elementary School students strolled through booths of professionals showcasing their careers and cultures during the Dream Big event, held in the school gymnasium, on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
The event featured an array of professionals, including a music producer, yoga instructor, nurse and former NFL football player.
Hathaway Principal Sarika Mosley said the goal of the event was to bring hope to the students about their future, help them dream about their future selves, and let them realize that they can start making changes now — maybe by joining the school’s robotics club, learning to play an instrument or building with Legos — to prepare for their future careers.
All of the professionals volunteered their time for the event, but a grant from the school’s community foundation, which provides multicultural experience for students, paid for five resident artists to attend the event.
Mosley says she wrote the $1,000 grant that was approved by the Washougal Schools Foundation, and allowed for visitors from Peru, Mexico, Brazil, India and Japan to attend the event.
Rob Melton, Opus School of Music owner, volunteered for the event and said that the highlight of the day, for him, was experiencing all of the chaos that came with it. Melton said the free-flowing music and the children, who were wandering off on uninhabited explorations, were glorious to be around.
He added that the event offered many multicultural experiences and ways of understanding what other cultures have to offer in arts and language.
“The neatest part was when I was able to hear a couple of our hispanic students speaking in Spanish with Luciana Proano to learn about Peru and the music there,” Mosley said. “It was neat to hear them speak their first language.”
Proano joined the event to talk about culture, home and family lifestyle. The other international visitors were Gerardo Calderon from Mexico, who taught the children about various musical instruments.
Steven Schob represented Brazil and talked to students about Samba dancing and the Carnival celebration.
Kazuyo Ito, from Japan, taught children about taiko drumming. She not only brought in her japanese drum, but also brought garbage cans to help children hear the different sounds that can be made with impact, Mosley said.
India was represented by Suba Ganesan who taught about bharatanatyam, Indian classical dancing.
Mosley said that because she herself is from India, Ganesan’s visit was extra special for her, and helped her share a little more about her own experiences with her students.
The students were especially excited to talk to retired NFL player Alundis Brice and experiment with the sound equipment brought by music producer Kyle Devine.
Jennifer Lampmann has two children at Hathaway and said that her daughter, Emily Lampmann, a first-grader, was very excited to see the different professions and activities the Dream Big event offered.
“I think it’s great to have (the students) explore different careers and activities that they didn’t have access to or are completely new to them,” Jennifer Lampmann said.
Melton added that the event gave children the opportunity to hear instruments they may have never seen or explored before, which could lead to a few youngsters finding a passion for music deep inside themselves.
Mosley said she’d like to highlight Dana Wilson, president of Hathaway Boosters Club, who organized the event and contacted most of the professionals who came to the event.
“She’s full of energy and excitement and really gets our parent group involved,” Mosley said of Wilson. “She’s just a really big asset for our community to have and an awesome parent.”
This is the first year for the Dream Big event, but Mosley said it will definitely be a part of Hathaway’s event offerings in the future.