ELD Hosts Coffee and Conversation for Multilingual Families
Bloomfield Hills Schools is a diverse community with families from all over the world, speaking over 60 languages in homes across our schools. Many students who are new to the United States of America arrive needing assistance with their English language development. All BHS schools have a classroom dedicated to supporting these students. The Newcomer program, currently housed at West Hills Middle School, is designed to support students newer to the English language. Students have access to help with class lessons and homework, and they gain cultural awareness from their teachers.
ELD Supervisor Lisa Lockhart and Paraprofessional Deyar Nasiri wanted to create a similar opportunity for the parents and caregivers of their students to gather together. A “Coffee and Conversation” event was held at Booth Center and offered a chance for families to meet each other and learn about Bloomfield Hills Schools. Nine families attended the event. The families were originally from China, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Syria. Refreshments were provided, and one parent voluntarily contributed a unique dessert that one would find common in Syria called Basbousa. It was so delicious, the members in the room asked for the recipe.
Lockhart invited Paradise Therapy Dogs trainers and their dogs to explain the benefit of therapy dogs in the schools. Both the toddlers and the adults loved seeing the dogs and hearing about their training process. Bloomfield Hills Schools Family Ambassadors Leah Abel and Natalie Finerty discussed the district's highlights such as Bowers Farm and Johnson Nature Center. Families were encouraged to get to know each other and ask questions.
Deyar Nasiri was pleased, saying, “It was a successful event from the diverse group to the speakers, to the way the women engaged.” Nasiri is planning more events, “As an ELD department, we plan 2-3 family meetings yearly. We talk about different topics.”
The next event, on April 18, will be a conversational meeting, allowing individuals to practice their English speaking skills. Multilingual families can find additional information by contacting Deyar Nasiri at firstname.lastname@example.org.