Monday, February 14, 2011

Bridging Cultures and Building Community

As a devoted teacher and an active member of the community, I am inviting you to become a supporter and a friend of this very important organization. FIRN’s mission is to ensure equal access to community resources and opportunities for all of our foreign-born families. It takes a community to teach our neighbors! Thank you for joining... me in bridging cultures and building community. ~Laurel

Thank you for your support, please click here:

A Butterfly Love Story of Shanbo Liang & Yingtai Zhu

…Connecting to what your students already know!
Shanbo Liang and  Yingtai Zhu
"My students from the Chin state of Burma loved the story of Shanbo Liang and Yingtai Zhu. I rewrote this short story to the students language proficiency level. I showed them these two pictures. The students and I read the story together. After we discussed the story, we listened to the music (link below). As the students listened to the story, they drew their interpretation of Shanbo Liang and Yingtai Zhu. Lastly, we did a shared writing and rewrote the end of the story." ~Laurel


A Chinese instrument, Gu zheng

The link to the "Butterfly Love Story"
In China, the Butterfly is beautiful, tender, romantic, brave and elegant.

Hua Die(化蝶)
(Becoming Butterflies--Chinese translation)
A Butterfly Love Story of Shanbo Liang &; Yingtai Zhu

“A long, long time ago, there was a smart little girl named Yingtai Zhu. She pretended to be a boy so she could study in school. (In ancient time girls weren’t allowed to study in school).

She met a boy named Shanbo Liang. The boy was very different because he liked art, he liked to write poems, and he liked the sea, mountains and all the original beauty of nature. Yingtai and Shanbo had a lot in common but the boy didn't know that Yingtai was a girl.

One day, Yingtai told Shanbo she was a girl. And then, they fell in love. Later, Yingtai's parents asked her to go back home to marry a boy that she didn't love.

But Yingtai and Shanbo were engaged and they did not tell their parents. Yingtai went back home and spoke to her parents about the boy she loved. But her parents were very angry with her and they locked her away at home. They wanted to have the wedding for her and the boy they chose for her.

Shanbo heard this terrible news at school and he was so sad and all he could think about was meeting Yingtai again. But his parents would not allow him to go see her at her house.

Shanbo stayed at home and became very sick…and one half month later, he died in sorrow of love. When Yingtai received this terrible news, she was so sad and ran to Shanbo's grave. She cried and cried and cried...

Suddenly, the grave opened and a beautiful butterfly flew out. At the same time, Yingtai became a beautiful butterfly too. They were happy and flew into the sky together. All the people were shocked about their precious love and that God changed them into butterflies.”

So now, when we talk about butterflies and love, we will think of this story:

This beautiful butterfly love story has been played in many theaters in China for a long time. There is also a song for their story. It was played by a traditional Chinese instrument named, “Gu zheng.”

Student's interpretation of the Butterfly Love Story. She drew the Gu zheng.
This student drew the transformation of the characters becoming butterflies.
This student drew the butterflies flying away together!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family 2 Family

Family 2 Family wants to personally thank Grazia Di Rella for creating the logo. The logo truly represents our English-speaking families reaching out to our foreign-born neighbors and helping them integrate into our society! Please click on the "LIKE" Button:

Family 2 Family Testimonies:

"I wonder how I would have reacted if a program like yours was available when I came to this country literally running for my life in 1973! During those dark days, Nixon-Kissinger had little sympathy for a young person like myself who was working with Allende in Chile. Allende was the president of Chile. The CIA under orders from Nixon/Kissinger did the dirty work to overthrow his democratically elected government. How times have changed! I was alone, I felt like a cornered animal and terrified that the US government would send me back to Chile where I would have been executed or thrown in jail. I am grateful that America's values and decency was no match to Nixon/Kissinger." February 7, 2011

"I was very impressed by the event. Magic happens when a team of caring people works together. Thank you for creating such a warm and caring atmosphere for all of the Burmese parents to feel comfortable interacting with the school staff, community agents and learning with their children. I thoroughly enjoyed the night. Thank you again." March 25, 2011

"Thank you, Laurel for you contribution in helping to make Friday an overwhelming success. Clearly, your dedication to the students and their families shines through all you do." March 27, 2011

"Congratulations on such a successful program. It was wonderful seeing all of our students and their parents in attendance for your last class. The entire team of staff that has been working with our students are very committed to helping to remove barriers for learning so our students can be successful. I commend each and everyone of you for your participation in helping this to be an outstanding program. Hats off to a job well done!" March 12, 2009

"This program exemplifies collaboration and integration of outreaches to families. With your leadership and administration, a Nigerian proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" is in full practice. You make it happen, when others only "hope" for great things to happen! Keep up the great work in identifying the needs of your students and families and implementing best practices/strategies to support all students." March 22, 2009

"This program is indeed a model to be duplicated!" March 22, 2009

"Dear Laurel, Thank you for sharing your newsletter-summary of the work you are doing to engage all families in productive ways in their children's education-including parents who may not speak English at home. There are many good ideas for the six types of involvement." Joyce Epstein May 29, 2009

Join Family 2 Family! Click on the "LIKE" Button!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Help our families learn these medical terms!