Ruskin to host cultural celebration
A celebration of global proportion will take place March 25 as Ruskin PK-8 School hosts a Cultural Affair and ESL Celebration from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 407 Ambrose Court. DPS students will present music, food, costumes and cultures from around the world. The event is open to DPS families who are served by the district’s English as a Second Language program.
To kick off the evening, students will lead six interactive stations for food tasting, arts, music, dance, history and literature, and soccer. Community organizations will be on hand to provide ESL families with information on a range of services and opportunities in Dayton.
A parade of nations will welcome guests to the formal stage at 7 p.m. for student performances from around the globe. After the program, ESL families are invited to dinner in the school’s auditeria. The annual event spotlights the cultures, languages and traditions of students in the DPS English as a Second Language program and provides an evening of fun for their parents and extended families.
The district’s ESL program serves about 420 English language learners in preK-12 from 27 countries who speak more than 20 languages. The largest language group, according to ESL director Teresa Troyer, is Spanish, followed by speakers of Arabic, Kirundi and Swahili, Turkish and Russian. Other languages also served include Wolof, Vietnamese, Gujurati, Khmer, Malay, Thai, Dinka, Tagalog, Cebuosa, Chinese, Ibo, French, Uzbek, Amharic, and Urdu.
“Our English language learners range from refugees who came to the U.S. in March to escape trauma or persecution at home to students who were born here in Dayton and who enjoy a language in the home other than English,” Troyer said.
Since January 2008, refugee numbers in DPS have increased to include more than 80 refugees from Burundi, Congo, Iraq, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, and Vietnam, along with secondary refugees who are ethnic Turks coming from Russia.