CAPRW Celebrates the Cultures of Head Start


It was as if the world converged at Phalen Park Pavilion in St. Paul on Saturday.

Children were dressed in traditional garb from Africa, Burma, Thailand the United States and everywhere in between. From one table to the next, multiple languages were spoken.

While the differences between many families was evident, they were all connected by Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties' Head Start program.

"It's so important," said Nicolee Mensing, Director of CAPRW Head Start program said of bring families together and allowing them to show and share their cultures with others. "We serve families that speak over the 30 different languages. This is a way to celebrate them all."

CAPRW held its First Culture Fair for Head Start families at Phalen Park Saturday.

Lucy Coelle attended the event along with her daughter, Samia Omar, who is enrolled in Head Start. "It's actually really nice," Coelle said of the Culture Fair. "I love to be involved in these kinds of things."

The nonprofit saw hundreds of families involved in Head Start stop in at the Culture Fair. The event started at noon, but families were there early.

It took six months to plan and execute the event. CAPRW went out its way to have traditional food from Asia, Africa and Mexico served. The music and dancers all represented various cultures.

Parents watched as their children had their faces painted, ran around in abandon and immersed themselves in other families' traditions.

Yosief Teklemichael brought his 4-year-old son, Pison. Pison was dressed in a traditional African outfit.

"We heard about it from him," said Teklemichael of his son, who is in his second year of Head Start. "He wanted to come. That's why he is dressed this way. It's nice for different cultures to come together."