Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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...

Senior Charles Nyanforh adds some whipped cream to his pumpkin pie with help from Pat Merrit at Wednesday morning's Thanksgiving meal for ELL students at Red River High School. The students dished up a traditional meal to experience this part of American culture. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
Senior Charles Nyanforh adds some whipped cream to his pumpkin pie with help from Pat Merrit at Wednesday morning's Thanksgiving meal for ELL students at Red River High School. The students dished up a traditional meal to experience this part of American culture. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.

Related Topics: GFH INSTAGRAM
What To Read Next
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
The Grand Forks Blue Zones Project, which hopes to make Grand Forks not just a healthier city but a closer community, is hosting an event on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center from 3-5 p.m.