By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The lunchroom by the office and small gym at Ashwaubenon High School featured arts and crafts from around the world along with international treats and sweets Thursday, Nov. 1, when the English Learner (EL) Family Night was held for EL students and their families.
Francine Cook, the district’s EL coordinator who teaches at AHS, said there currently are 90 students identified as EL in the district with some of the languages spoken including Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Hindi, Finnish, Tamil, Kannada, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Indonesian, Telugu and Filipino.
Cook said the EL Family Night was designed for those EL families who are reluctant to come into the school.
“Sometimes their English proficiency isn’t as high as they might like it to be, so they don’t feel as comfortable coming in,” she said. “We actually have two interpreters here this evening, so that the families can come in, and it’s a comfortable setting to hang out, meet their teachers, do activities (and) have an interpreter there if they’re having a problem with language… We want to encourage them to come into school, because when there is an issue, they’ll feel more likely to come in and see us.”
Cook said the next EL Family Night at AHS will be from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 31, when the free event will be open to all members of the Ashwaubenon community.