Red River ELL students enjoy traditional Thanksgiving meal
On the eve of Thanksgiving, the holiday spirit was evident in Red River High School's ELL classroom. A group of English Language Learners took a break from their usual class routine Wednesday to eat a traditional holiday meal. They feasted on tur...
On the eve of Thanksgiving, the holiday spirit was evident in Red River High School's ELL classroom. A group of English Language Learners took a break from their usual class routine Wednesday to eat a traditional holiday meal. They feasted on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, all brought by members of the school's ELL staff.
Though the students at Wednesday's celebration have lived in the U.S. for several years, many of them never had experienced a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Senior Charles Nyanforh, who came from Liberia and has lived in the U.S. for seven years, experienced the holiday before when he lived in Colorado Springs, Colo. He said he enjoyed the stuffing the most.
"I love it," he said. "And the pumpkin pie."
Freshman Sonia Okonkwo, who is from Nigeria and came to the U.S. fewer than two years ago, wasn't a fan of the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, but she said she keeps an open mind about trying all the dishes. She said she could see herself celebrating the holiday again in the future.
"We have to be thankful for what we have," she explained. Okonkwo said she's grateful for her family and her life in general.
Freshman Fadumo Ismail, who's from Kenya and has been in the U.S. for five years, said she enjoyed the food, but her family doesn't celebrate the holiday at home. She said she's looking forward to playing a lot of video games over the four-day weekend.
Red River has held its Thanksgiving meal for ELL students on and off for about seven years. Teacher Ione Seidlinger said the ELL program has grown rapidly during that time, with about 120 students currently enrolled.
Andrea Parks, another ELL teacher, said that while the holiday may be a new concept for the students, they all can relate to its underlying values of togetherness and gratitude.
"It's not so different" in that way, she explained.