Islip Celebrates Cultural Diversity on Annual ENL Night

Islip Celebrates Cultural Diversity on Annual ELL Night

The district held its annual ENL Family Cultural Night on March 20, focused on the theme of celebrating cultural diversity, reflecting a district enriched by 18 different student languages.

“In Islip, our student population is culturally diverse and many students come from homes where a second language is spoken,” said Priscilla Zarate, the district’s ENL and world language coordinator. “What does cultural diversity mean for Islip? It means recognition of students’ abundant diversity of cultures, respect for the differences that exist, acknowledging the validity of different cultural expressions, valuing what other cultures have to offer, encouraging the contributions of diverse groups of students, empowering our students to strengthen themselves and others to achieve their maximum potential, and celebrating rather than just tolerating the differences in order to bring about unity in diversity.”

As one of many highlights of the event, Islip recognized the achievements of a dozen of its English language learners: William Pineda and Nicole Quinteros from Wing; Abner Barrios, Kelsey Ortiz and Natalie Pantaleon from Commack Road; David Hernandex from Sherwood; Naomi Del Re and Ashley Toro from the middle school; and Veronica Catalino, Nicole Huaylinos, Osman Marroquin and Mayra Sanchez from the high school.

The evening also included a guest appearance by poet, storyteller and performer Adriana Devers, author of “Mi Chiquitica en Luna Llena My Little One in Full Moon,” “Huellas de Una Memoria Perdida” and “Mi Vida de Cuento en Cuento.” Devers, originally from the Dominican Republic, spoke bilingually to the audience and led them in a festive traditional dance out of the auditorium and into the cafeteria to enjoy food, refreshments and numerous educational displays.