International families from across Bloomfield Hills Schools recently attended an information night and community-building event. The English Language Development department, led by Lisa Lockhart was instrumental in providing engaging sessions for families from around the globe attending BHS. The evening also included activities for children hosted by the Bloomfield Township Library and Bloomfield Hills High School Student Ambassadors.
“The first-ever International Family Connections gathering was a success!” said long-time PTO volunteer and Family Connections coordinator Leah Abel, who is a parent in the district and Co-Chair for the annual BHS Multicultural Celebration. “I think the families enjoyed making new connections and friends, and learned a lot from the various break-out sessions.”
Sessions included a question and answer session with Michelle Feneberg from the Birmingham-Bloomfield Newcomers Club who is also a BHS parent. There was a presentation on resources for English Language Development by Lockhart, along with K-8 English Language Family Liaison Deyar Nasiri and English Language Paraprofessional Rana Saaed. In addition, BHS Family Ambassadors from the Communications Department provided key BHS website links and resources.
At the same time, Bloomfield Township Children’s Librarian Patricia Ballard led the younger children in an engaging storytime and a craft, while BHHS Student Ambassadors helped with crafts, and played cards and board games with the middle-school age students.
There will be another International Family Connections event in the new year as well as the Multicultural Celebration event on May 9. “It makes me happy and proud that we live in a community that is so supportive of our diverse and international families,” said Abel.