Volunteer plans multicultural tour at library

Despite budget cutbacks, the Harrisburg branch library will still have some programs this summer because of the efforts of volunteers.

One option is the "CultureTour 2010" program. The eight-week adventure is a hands-on multicultural tour of eight countries, presented by representatives from each country.

An interest in cultures and a fascination with learning styles prompted D.J. Fullwood of Harrisburg to design the program.

"I remember as a small child, sitting with my grandfather and hearing about the way things were in North Carolina in the early 1900s. I was intrigued that there were many generations living in one house and that the only transportation was by horseback and that it took four days to get to Atlanta," said Fullwood.

The fond memories of learning by hearing stories stuck with her and prompted her to wonder why most learning is done through textbooks.

"You will never know the depth of a subject unless someone who has actually experienced it relates it to you. This makes it much more real and believable," she said.

Fullwood and her husband, Armando, are the parents of seven children, including two sets of twins. After having her kids in private school for years and spending all of her time driving and managing a stressful schedule, D.J. made the decision two years ago to home school all of the kids. They range in age from 6 to 21.

These years of teaching at home have convinced Fullwood that there are many opportunities every day to learn, and many of them are right outside our doors. Harrisburg is home to many diverse cultures, and UNC Charlotte has a huge international representation as well as an international studies major.

From her belief in the benefits of multicultural exposure, Fullwood developed the "CultureTour 2010."

"I wanted kids to have a concentrated hour on each country and for the focus to be comparing the daily life of a child in that country to a day in our country," she said. Representatives will discuss and share food, schooling and family life. The classes will be interactive, allowing kids to experience the arts, dance, music, and clothing of the countries. At the first class, each participant will receive a notebook to bring each week to store handouts, stickers, crafts, and recipes.

"It is my plan that each week the participants will leave with a recipe for a food from the country that was presented. This allows them to take the experience further if they wish," said Fullwood. At the end of the eight weeks, each student will have compiled a keepsake notebook representing the countries.

The "CultureTour 2010" program will be held on Wednesdays at the library, beginning June 23 with the exception of June 30. Hours are 10-11a.m. for ages 3-6 and 11 a.m.-noon for ages 7 and up. Registration is required, and space is limited.

The event is free. To register, sign up at the library. Details: e-mail