A variety of cultures, languages and ethnicities were present in the Pulaski Road Elementary cafeteria on Nov. 15 for the Northport-East Northport annual English Language Learner (ELL) Thanksgiving luncheon. The event brings together ELLs and their families from all schools for an afternoon of celebration, gratitude and to showcase an American tradition.
The luncheon began by recognizing many English as a New Language (ENL) staff and the families of ELLs who have helped their students achieve success in learning the English language. While some students have been in America for several years, others arrived in recent months and are just beginning to develop their English skillset. Regardless of a student’s English proficiency, gathering over a shared meal is a common way to build connections and understand a new culture.
“You make our school community more diverse, you make us richer, and you make every day special,” said Chairperson for World Language and ENL Jennifer Nesfield. “We are proud and honored that you allow us into your lives a little bit and that you help teach us your traditions and your customs. Today is our way of giving back to you.”
The event also included performances by Pulaski Road kindergarten ELLs and Norwood Avenue ELLs singing traditional Thanksgiving tunes, followed by a virtual presentation from middle school students on what they are grateful for. Members of the Northport-East Northport staff, administration and Board of Education then served traditional Thanksgiving food, such as turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, to students and their families.