ESL luncheon: students share their culture through food and stories


Kara Bendixen, Staff writer

The English as a Second Language program (ESL) hosted a luncheon celebrating the ESL graduating class last Friday, May 6, to unite the various cultures present at SHS.

Each student supplied his or her own dish based on their nationality in order to share their culture in a way everyone can enjoy.

ai???The best way to build a community in a classroom is to share their stories and food!ai??? said Ms. Jackie Van Gorden who was responsible for organizing the event.

Van Gorden is currently an ESL teacher at Stroudsburg and has worked for the National Board of Teaching Standards for seven summers, scored online essays of ESL strategies, and trained others to do so. She is known to have a motherly influence on the students who come here to Stroudsburg. Ai??She knows first-hand the struggles these students face on a daily basis.

Van Gorden shares her insight on the students of ESL: ai???They are students just like everyone else, just in a new place,ai??? referring to the difficulties they face after moving to a completely new environment.

The idea of this event is to bring together all the students who have experienced this transition and to celebrate their differences as well as similarities.

In preparation for the event, students created a ai???Photostoryai???. This was a combination of pictures from their home country and pictures from their new home here at Stroudsburg. This project allowed students to share their individual experiences from their original homes as well as their fresh experiences at SHS.

The luncheon was a great success with approximately 100 people in and out throughout the day.