Many thanks to all of our English Language teachers who welcome our students from beautiful countries other than our own. These students come to Hudsonville to start new lives —- and to do this, they also have to learn a new language and meet new friends and learn how to adapt to routines that are different than their own. The video above celebrates who they are and who they are becoming. As Mrs. Cooley, the EL teachers says in the video, their voices give hope for the future.
I am married to a first generation American who’s family survived World War II. We made sure that our own children learned the history of their father and grandparent’s survival. I will always remember the look on my children’s faces when their Oma told how she would take a late night shift to steal coal. Her shift involved waiting for the German soldiers to change posts. When that happened, she would run to the coal pit and load her bag and apron with coal to share with the other women who were raising small children in the apartment complex. The coal allowed them to heat their homes and make food for their families.
Where were the fathers? All the non-Jewish white males were taken from their families to German munitions camp — building weapons to fight the war.
I have also listened to the stories my husband and his siblings have told about how difficult it was to learn a new language and learn new routines and make new friends far away from the home they left behind. It was not easy for them. They struggled to learn the language and make ends meet.
My husband and his siblings did not have Mrs. Cooley (our EL teacher) as their advocate. Hudsonville is exceptionally fortunate to have EL teachers to support new families who are new to our country — and our language and so much more. These amazing families build our community to be bright, stronger and better.
Enjoy this celebration (above) … and thank you to Mrs. Cooley and your EL team for all you do for these children who are part of our school community! Below is an example of immigrants who are now on the front lines working to keep us safe.