Contributed photo

Red Deer Public school district adds Arabic on lunch menus

Lunch menus at Fairview Elementary School are now bilingual — English and Arabic.

The recent move by the school was an effort to reach out to the school’s diverse community.

Nearly half of the students at the school in Riverside Meadows are English as a Second Language learners.

Among the 113 ESL students, 20 different languages are spoken with Arabic the second most common after English. The menu is being translated into five languages to respond to the needs of all families.

In a statement posted to the Red Deer Public School District’s website said, the district is a welcoming and inclusive district that is open to all students regardless of abilities, disabilities, culture or faith.

“As such, we welcome families who are new to our country, providing them with quality education. Many of these families have fled terrible situations because not only do they want to better their lives, they seek a better future for their children. So they come to Canada as settlers, as have the ancestors of many Canadians.”

“In all our schools, regardless of the need, we want to be responsive to our families. In doing so, we have developed a menu that reflects the diversity within the school.”

The menus are not translated in French but the district said more than 10 per cent of their students are registered in French Immersion.

On Friday, the school held a Literacy and Numeracy Day event in the gymnasium. The book Red Parka Mary by Peter Eyvindson was read, in English, for students.

“The excitement and joy in our school was off the charts,” said Kimberley Walker, Fairview Elementary School principal. “Students were building new friendships with peers of all ages.”

At the end of the day, students returned to the gym and spent 15 more minutes reading their favourite book.

“Red Deer is becoming increasingly diverse. We are a welcoming and inclusive community. We celebrate diversity as it adds to the richness of our community. Red Deer Public Schools is about instilling values, beliefs and character within our students and we are reflective of the community we serve by welcoming and being open to all.”

The menus are part of a provincially-funded nutrition program, which provides healthy breakfast, snack and lunch options to all students. The school was chosen because of the socio-economic needs of the community. The Alberta government invested $10 million into the school lunch program, providing food for 49 schools across the province.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Canada open to growing trade with China now that USMCA is a done deal: PM

TORONTO — Canada is open to doing more business with China now… Continue reading

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

VANCOUVER — Police departments across Canada are fully prepared for marijuana legalization… Continue reading

Campers will be able to smoke cannabis at campsites in Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada says visitors should do their research on cannabis before going… Continue reading

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to deny Canadian producers’ ‘competitive advantage’

WASHINGTON — An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that… Continue reading

Most Read