West's Fourth Annual Cultural Fair Has New Twist

West's Fourth Annual Cultural Fair Has New Twist
Posted on 10/10/2018
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photo of students presenting at West's cultural fair
Students in the English Language Learners (ELL) program at Lakota West had an opportunity to share about their cultures and home countries at the school’s annual Cultural Fair. Guests were able to hear about what life is like in many different countries from 35 student presenters.

This is the fourth year for the event, which Miranda Cockrell, an ELL teacher at West, started in 2014. “The idea behind having the fair is so that teachers can see students in a different light,” she said. It allows teachers to “get to know (the students) on a personal level.”

A twist this year partnered creative writing students from Eileen Washburn’s class with students who would be presenting at the fair. After getting to know one another, students in Washburn’s class created a project about the presenter, such as poetry, short stories, photo montages and even a song. Amy, a senior in Washburn’s class, enjoyed the project immensely. “It was a great opportunity to write about someone else’s perspective.” She also enjoyed getting to know, and become friends with, fellow students who she most likely would not have met otherwise.

Dallane, a student presenter, enjoyed the project because it gave her a chance to talk about her family. “I like to study and I like all of my classes,” she said. One of the things she likes about Lakota West is the teachers. “They show me well, like in Algebra,” she added. Originally from Guatemala, Dallane has only been in the United States for six months. Her favorite subject is biology because “they teach me about cells.”

The fair gives students in the ELL program the opportunity to practice their English in front of an audience. “The students love being able to show their teachers how much English they know and love being able to brag about their cultures,” Cockrell added.