Teachers from across Iowa begin meeting today in Des Moines to learn about the melting pot of cultures that make up our state’s population — not just the Italians, Germans and the Irish but the Bosnians, Iranians and Laotians, among many others.Riki Saltzman is director of the Iowa Folklife Institute, which is hosting the conference for educators today through Saturday. She says the summit will present teachers with new ways to engage their students in the study of history, art, music and language.Saltzman says the conference at the State Historical Museum will explore all sorts of traditional cultures to better educate the teachers, so they can pass the knowledge on to their students. There is also a large art display that is open to the public this weekend at the Des Moines Playhouse. It will showcase a variety of traditional arts.She expects at least one hundred teachers to attend the conference from all corners of the state, covering grades K-through-12. The Iowa Folklife and Prairie Voices Institutes is a collaboration between the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa.
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