ELL teacher Sunita Puri provides a special and safe way for international students to share their culinary traditions

Few things encapsulate the holidays quite like food. Dishes ranging from fruit cake to candy canes are served all season long, but Houston High’s English Language Learners (ELL) Program decided to have a feast of a different variety. This past Friday, the class organized a special international breakfast in the school library intended to celebrate the season and each students' unique cultures.

With over thirty students involved in the ELL program, Houston houses students from an array of countries, and the breakfast was invented by ELL teacher/coordinator Sunita Puri in order to celebrate this diversity and encourage an appreciation for each other cultures within.

“My students are usually shy in showing what they’re eating for a regular day, so I wanted to do these breakfasts to let them know there is nothing wrong with who they are or what they eat. I think it really helped give them pride in their identity and culture,” said Ms. Puri.

For the breakfast, each of these students brought a dish from their native culture and had the opportunity to share it with their fellow students, faculty, and administration. India, Brazil, Japan, Palestine, Morocco, and Syria were just a few of the countries represented, and an array of delicious dishes like falafel, hummus & pita, dhokla, halawa, couscous, and fried rice were served.

“I also wanted the breakfast to give students the opportunity to open up and try other cuisines that might have different flavors and foreign tastes from what they’re used to as well,” continued Ms. Puri in discussing the purpose of the meal.

We are so immeasurably pleased that our students could celebrate themselves and each other in this unique, informative, and delicious way, and we are so blessed to have such wonderful students bring their interesting cultures to the GMSD community
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