Community Day at The Gables, by Ana Nuncio, Manager of Settlement Partnerships

September 17, 2015 Published by Julie Arrison-Bishop

On Thursday, August 6th, The Gables hosted a city-wide Community Day that showcased the talents of high school students. The event was led and organized by staff from LEAP for Education, Salem Public High School educators, and instructors from Salem State University.

This innovative partnership found a way to bring the Salem at SEA (Summer ELL Academy) program at SSU to an exciting conclusion at The Gables. Thought-provoking poster board exhibits by students, along with comment sheets for visitor responses, lined the perimeter of the conference area.  Prominently displayed was this topic for exploration: Why is there a disconnect between immigrants and the larger Salem community?

Students also presented intriguing video presentations and performed live demonstrations of the bachata and merengue dances that are traditional to Dominican culture.  As a culminating project, three Salem high students also presented their translation of the City’s Salem Guide for New Visitors in Spanish, advocating for its availability in print form in order to meet newly arrived immigrants “where they are”.

During the last week of July, just before presenting their projects for Community Day, the group of Salem at SEA students had met at The Gables and visited with younger students during the Caribbean Connections summer program.  They watched the younger students rehearse a play entitled La Peineta Colorada (The Red Hair Comb) about slavery in the Caribbean.

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This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop