Annual Holiday Traditions

For the past several years, the families, staff and friends of FAST TRAC have gathered in December for an annual Holiday Traditions Celebration. This year’s celebration was another rousing success for all involved. Our families had the chance to develop relationships and learn about each other through food and fellowship. Each person/family is encouraged to bring along a favorite side dish or dessert to share with the group and because of the diversity of the group, everyone gets the chance to taste treats from other cultures. The highlight of the evening this year was the Hispanic Trio that played music in both English and Spanish, followed by our ever popular piñata for the children.

The most wonderful story of the evening came from two young girls who demonstrated the true value of cultural competence without even realizing that was what they were doing. Ella was with her family and has been part of a school activity that teaches sign language to those students who wish to participate. Ella loves the class and has been participating for a while. Hannah, another young girl who was at the Holiday Celebration, happens to be deaf. While the festivities were just beginning, Ella saw that Hannah was looking around and that her Mom was signing to her. Ella decided to sign to Hannah and use the skills she had learned in her school program. Well, this was a wonderful sight for Hannah who suddenly had someone to communicate with besides her Mom. The two girls spent the rest of the evening drawing and “talking” via sign language and have started a new friendship.

Cultural Competence is the process of being open to other ways of doing things, including, food, music, and language. Being open to differences, rather than fearful or judgmental, creates the opportunity for our FAST TRAC families to find more support in the most helpful manner possible. During this holiday season, think about other opportunities you may have to learn something new for the sake of enriching your life and the lives of others.