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Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024

  • Culture Appreciation
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, a time our district and schools recognize the contributions and celebrate the many diverse and vibrant cultures of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

According to the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs there are people from approximately 42 different nations across Asia and the Pacific Islands in our state and greater Federal Way community.

These cultures are part of the fabric that make our district one of the most diverse in the state — a strength we embrace and weave into the culture of our schools and education of our scholars.

In FWPS we want our schools to be a mirror of our community — a place where every student has a sense of belonging and can see and be themselves.

To that end we can’t wait to share how our schools are recognizing Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage with assemblies, art projects, musical performances and more. We want to share these experiences with the entire District, so be sure to email photos to

View additional recognitions in the FWPS Cultural & Religious Calendar here:

Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month at Todd Beamer High School!

May marks Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to honoring the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of the AANHPI community. At Todd Beamer High School (TBHS), scholars and staff showcased the vibrant tapestry of Pacific Islander culture within our school district by hosting a Pacific Island Family Night in April with a joyous occasion that brought together students, staff, and families to celebrate our AANHPI scholars.

Students took charge of the event, serving as MCs, hosts, volunteers, and performers, ensuring a seamless and engaging evening for all attendees. From coordinating food, creating traditional attire, and music to meticulously preparing performances and raising funds, our scholars demonstrated dedication and passion in bringing this event to life.

The highlight of the evening was the showcase presented by the TBHS Pacific Islander (PI) Club, featuring an array of performances representing various Pacific Island cultures, from Polynesia to Micronesia.

In addition to celebrating our rich cultural heritage, Principal McCrummen took the opportunity to recognize the exemplary attendance of two PI students. One scholar was commended for their consistent high attendance, while another was praised for their remarkable improvement. The crowd erupted in applause and cheers, celebrating these students' achievements and commitment.

Scholars conveyed their feelings of enthusiasm and approval with the night’s presentation. 12th grade scholar Ruta commented that “the food was on point and the dancing was amazing. It was one of the best times I had as a student.” 11th grader Erica chimed in and voiced her approval saying, “[I] wish the night never ended! We spent so much time putting it all together and it was great seeing it come to life.”

At FWPS, we take pride in our commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The success of Todd Beamer High School's Pacific Island Family Night is a testament to our dedication to uplifting our students and fostering a sense of unity within our community. It is events like these that highlight the incredible cultural richness and achievements of our students, bringing us closer together as a school and as a community.

Olympic View K-8 Celebrates AANHPI Community Along with a Special Surprise Guest

AANHPI introduction at all school assembly

While continuing the celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Olympic View K-8 came together for an all-school assembly. The full list of events highlighted many cultures, people, and countries. A group of rotating scholar MCs led the assembly, and the performances and presentations included fellow Olympic View scholars, school staff, and a special guest dance performance from the Decatur High School Pacific Islander Club.

The school audience greeted those on stage with heartfelt warmth and encouragement, fostering a sense of camaraderie that was reciprocated as each performer took the spotlight with unwavering confidence.  Among the diverse array of cultural expressions, scholars showcased dances from regions such as the Philippines, Tonga, and the Pacific Islands. Neo, an Olympic View scholar, captivated the audience with his spirited rendition of the American Samoa song “Loimata O Le Fiafia,” earning thunderous applause. Reflecting on his performance, Neo shared, “I was really nervous, but then I started dancing and I wasn’t nervous. If I didn’t have my culture, then I wouldn’t be here dancing.”

Olympic View K-8 followed up with engaging presentations. Students delved into the inspiring story of King Kamehameha from Hawaii, while staff members shared fascinating facts and showcased traditional attire. Videos provided a comprehensive glimpse into AANHPI Heritage Month. As a delightful bonus, a class from Olympic View K-8 serenaded attendees with a mesmerizing rendition of the timeless classic “Over the Rainbow,” made famous by the iconic Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

As the assembly drew to a close, the Decatur High School Pacific Islander Club took the stage, empowering the entire room with their mesmerizing performance. Their outstanding cultural dance not only entertained but also served as a shining example for Olympic View scholars, demonstrating how older students can actively participate in high school activities and engage with the AANHPI community.

Witnessing the entire school unite in celebration and recognition of AANHPI heritage, spearheaded by our scholars, was truly remarkable. Principal Choi of Olympic View K-8 expressed her enthusiasm for the event and its significance for the students, stating, “This celebration at Olympic View provided our AANHPI scholars with a platform to proudly embrace their identities and affirm the importance of their existence. Moreover, it served as a pivotal moment for our community to foster learning and development, ensuring that every individual feels valued, acknowledged, and heard.”

Such an event, where scholars from all grades proudly share their heritage and culture, is made possible by the dedication of our staff, parents, guardians, and students who embrace authenticity within a nurturing and empowering environment. FWPS is thrilled for the inclusive community at Olympic View K-8 that exemplifies the welcoming spirit found throughout FWPS schools.

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage at the Valhalla Multicultural Night and Todd Beamer High School Luncheon

At Federal Way Public Schools, our staff and students are dedicated to celebrating their identities and cultures. During AANHPI Heritage Month, Valhalla Elementary and Todd Beamer High School provided platforms for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) scholars to proudly share their cultural heritage.

The Todd Beamer Pacific Islander (PI) Club brought vibrancy and education to the school’s lunchtime with a selection of Pacific Islander snacks and engaging activities. Meanwhile, Valhalla Elementary hosted a spectacular Multicultural Night, a joyous event where the school community came together to celebrate its diverse cultural tapestry. AANHPI scholars and their families played an integral role in showcasing their traditions and customs.

The event featured booths representing Korea, Laos, Samoa, and Cambodia, each offering live performances that captivated the audience. Highlights included the graceful Korean Fan Dance, the harmonious Lao Blossom Girls Dance, the lively Cambodian Coconut Dance, and an energetic Samoan dance routine. The rhythmic beats of Korean drums and the splendor of traditional attire from each country were showcased in a vibrant fashion display, celebrating the beauty and heritage of these cultures.

The culinary delights were another highlight of the evening. Attendees savored traditional foods from various countries, including cookies, main dishes, and snacks. Among the favorites were “Chamorro” cookies from Saipan, CNMI, delighting the taste buds of all who attended.

Valhalla Principal Diane Harlow had enthusiastic words to share about the school’s Multicultural Night saying, “What an amazing night! I am so proud of everyone coming together to celebrate and honor Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Our school has a rich diversity, and being entertained and educated by our own community is one of the things that makes Valhalla such a special place, where all are welcomed, valued and respected.”

Valhalla Elementary and Todd Beamer High School exemplify the spirit of Federal Way Public Schools in embracing and celebrating the diverse cultures within our community. We are immensely proud of the support our scholars receive from school staff and families, ensuring that every student is empowered and prepared to achieve a bright future. Join us in celebrating the rich cultural heritage of our AANHPI community and the vibrant multicultural spirit that defines our schools!