Rochester schools celebrate diversity - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester schools celebrate diversity

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- In the 2010-2011 school year it was noted 22% of Rochester public school students spoke a combined total of 63 languages other than English in the home.

Gage Elementary Principal Kim McDonald says, "Kids are kids but they come from all different backgrounds."

At Gage Elementary students of all sizes, different hair and eye colors and various ethnicities come together 5 days a week for a common purpose to gain a quality education.

Superintendent Michael Muñoz dined with kindergartners on Tuesday. His family lineage is dominantly Hispanic a quality he's embraced.

Muñoz says, "A lot of times I get asked to come and speak to students and it's an opportunity to share my story and show that with an education I was able to be successful. Anytime I get in front of students I want to let them know that education is the key. And if you work hard and get a good education you can have a lot of great opportunities."

Gage Elementary is one of Rochester's most diverse public schools, made up of about 54% minority students.

McDonald says, "I think it's Gage's best feature is that we have multiple perspectives. We have kids from all kinds of different beliefs and backgrounds and we can come together and teach each other about different cultures, religions, and get to know each other and realize that we're all people."

Gage Elementary works hard to incorporate and celebrate people of all backgrounds.

One example, step into their library. While the stories are in English, students will able to find books that help them learn about others but also books their own families can closely relate to.

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