Bentley Elementary School's Festival of Cultures

February 3, 2003

Source: The Detroit News

On February 3, 2003 The Detroit News reported that "Bentley Elementary School's second annual Festival of Cultures Feb. 7 promotes respect for world cultures that comprise a rising percentage of Canton's [MI] growing population... 'This all started because of the changing faces of our children,' said Principal Jerry Meier. Recent census figures show Canton has grown from a rural population of 5,313 in 1960 to 76,366 in 2002 -- which includes 9.2 percent Indian-Asians, 4.8 percent African-Americans and 2.3 percent Hispanics...'The makeup of our community has changed so much through the years and our school reflects that,' Meier said. 'We had to address understanding of all the cultures that make up our school district.' He recalled questions from some students when Sikh students appeared in school wearing turbans...'We tried to make it understood why that was taking place, and that we learn to respect them as we all would want to be respected,' he said."