With flags from more than 50 countries hanging in the hallways, Santa Rita School looked like the United Nations as more than 500 students participated in the school's recent fourth annual International Week.
Dorothy Dickson, the English language development specialist at the Los Altos school, orchestrated a series of events during the week of May 23.
The climax came with a presentation to American Red Cross staff who accepted more than 500 friendship boxes that Santa Rita students had filled with school supplies and toys for children in Armenia.
"We are so fortunate to have a wonderfully diverse student population at Santa Rita," Dickson said.
"With more than 30 percent of our students speaking a language other than English at home and with more than 20 different languages spoken, our goal is to create an awareness of who we are as people and who we are as a community."
With passports in hand, students traveled through various classrooms where parents representing more than 21 countries talked about their life experiences in their homeland.
Santa Rita students had an opportunity to sample food from Iran, design Chinese crafts, throw an Australian boomerang, and learn how to wrap a sari from India.
In a school-wide assembly students performed dances including a Georgian wedding dance, the Sin-Jiang Dance from China, a solo performance by Anvi Visariya of a dance from India and a Japanese dance led by students and parents.
Santa Rita Principal Steve Peck, participating in his first International Day, said, "I hope our students can take this awareness and sensitivity with them into adulthood."
Malnick is a parent of a student at Santa Rita School.