Celebration and Appreciation: How Cultural Engagement Enriches Our School and Our Scholars

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by Rocketship Mosaic Vietnamese Parent Association
Rocketship Mosaic Elementary

Last week, members of the Rocketship Mosaic Vietnamese Parent Association (RMVPA) beamed with pride as 35 Rocketeers took the stage for Rocketship Mosaic’s (RoMo’s) 2nd annual Tet Festival. Three months of practice and preparation led up to a fantastic nine-act display of Vietnamese culture, complete with traditional music, dance, and costumes, and a surprise meet-and-greet with the Monkey King to ring in the Year of the Monkey! It was a packed house with an audience of over 200, including San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, State Assembly candidate and former Vice Mayor and City Council member Madison Nguyen, and State Assembly candidate Cong Do. Tet is the Vietnamese version of the Lunar New Year, which originated from China. “Tet” stands for Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning “the first morning of the first day.” Vietnamese people around the world consider Tet to be the most important celebration of the year. We were honored to share this important time of year with our Rocketship community.

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The Monkey King showed up for a surprise meet-and-greet.

From Black History Month, to Cinco De Mayo celebrations, to our own Tet Festival, Rocketship celebrates the diversity of our student population and allows each culture to shine. As parents, that matters. We believe that a school that works to celebrate cultures truly cares about its community and scholars. Rocketship not only wants their scholars to succeed in education, but as people in the community. When families feel they and their children are appreciated this way, it empowers them to get involved and let their voice be heard.

The RMVPA was established in 2011 because we believe Rocketship’s model of school, community, and parents working hand-in-hand is the recipe for success and we wanted to be part of that. Ten of us meet monthly to plan and organize with one goal in mind: to keep the Vietnamese community at RoMo engaged. We do this by putting on and participating in events like the Tet Festival, a performance at the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Diabetes Walk, school and community clean-up projects, and other family-oriented activities like picnics and camping trips.

Another way we keep our community engaged is helping to keep them updated about important issues, like the district reauthorization of RoMo that is taking place right now. Our Tet performance felt particularly important this year because we viewed it as an opportunity to raise awareness about RoMo in light of this reauthorization process. We were thrilled that many of the community leaders we invited were able to attend, including Rudy Rodriguez, a board member from Franklin-McKinley School District, who will be one of the five people voting on our reauthorization in March. 

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Among the attendees was San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who addressed the audience with encouraging words about our Rocketeers.

Beyond just the RMVPA, of course, RoMo staff welcomes and embraces parents’ participation in other ways. The school site council, made up of parents and staff, meets monthly and includes three RMVPA members. Rocketship also has an open-door policy for parents and community leaders to come visit the school and hosts frequent, well-attended community meetings.

The RMVPA is proud to lead by example and show our kids how important it is to be involved. Our Rocketeers know we care about their education and in turn, they become deeply invested in it, too.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the performance went off without a hitch! Will you join us next year?

Did you take photos at your school’s Tet Festival? Share them with us! @RocketshipEd


Established in 2011, Rocketship Mosaic Vietnamese Parents Association is a group of 10 Rocketship Mosaic parents who joined forces to unite the Vietnamese community within and outside of RoMo through information and events. RMVPA believes celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of Rocketship scholars and their families is vital for creating a vibrant school atmosphere and engaging our local community.

 

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