LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – La Crosse County is proud of its strong Hmong presence, and there are several upcoming and current events going on at the Hmong Cultural and Community Agency.
For starters, since last Friday, which will continue through this week, a total of 500 fourth graders in the La Crosse area are learning about Hmong history, language and culture at the agency.
The students can physically step into the design of a traditional Hmong home and learn about the challenges Hmong people faced, like surviving in a jungle. Next week, Hmong elders will visit classrooms where students can ask them any unanswered questions.
“Today we had a high schooler here helping out, but then in the process, they learned that ‘Wow, this is Hmong culture they actually don’t know’, and they learned through the process,” said Pheng Lo, an educator for Hmong Education Project.
For the last ten years, the School District of La Crosse and the Hmong Cultural and Community Agency have collaborated to create this educational experience, and for eight years, students have been able to visit the agency to view the cultural displays.
“So in the scope and sequence of learning, we believe it is important for every student to feel as if they are part of the fabric of this community and so to do that we have to find experiences that honor and value their history,” said Wendy Mattison, Co-Director for Hmong Education Project.
The agency provides a wide variety of services like language interpretation, referrals for jobs, helping with permanent resident green card renewal, and if its a service they cannot provide, staff said they would outsource to other local resources that will be able to assist further.