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ESL program holds annual family night

ESL Family Night Article

By Stacey Overton

Where can you find families from many countries such as Morocco, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Columbia, India, Mexico, Egypt and Israel all in one place?  Right here in Downingtown! Our diverse community participated in the annual ESL Family Night on Friday March 29th at East Ward Elementary School. Over 135 people came to engage with community groups and share fellowship with teachers and other families.  The event featured tables set up by community groups to provide information to attendees. Families also brought food delicacies to share from their native countries.  The evening culminated with a raffle of 15 donated prizes ranging from a book basket and YMCA membership, to a generous $100 gift card from Wegmans. There were crafts for the kids, a bargain book section and a photo booth capturing everyone’s best side.

This year there were 10 community groups including Downingtown Area Recreational Foundation (DARC), Chester County Library, Head Start, Volunteers in English, Downingtown Community Educational Foundation (DCEF), The Chester County Technical High School (TCHS), La Communidad Hispana, The Lord’s Pantry, Sweetwater Education, and The Chester County Health Department.  Besides the prize raffle, the highlight of the event was the epic smorgasbord that unfolded as families added their dishes to the buffet table.  Some of the foods available this year were samosas, tamales, fried rice, hummus, and Tres Leches cake. The evening is organized by members of the DASD ESL Department and is designed to provide information and a sense of community to members of the Downingtown Area School District whose families participate in the English Language Development program.