This week, I was in a classroom full of moms, dads and grandparents at the Blackstone Innovation School in Boston’s South End. They come from around the globe — Columbia, Nigeria, Somalia, Honduras, Dominican Republic — but all are here in this ESOL for Parents and Caregivers class for the same reason: to learn English so that they can help their children excel in school. This month they’re preparing for parent-teacher conferences, practicing at-home reading strategies, and planning to attend the school’s Parent Council meeting–many for the first time.
They are learning a language, but they are also becoming a small community, a group that can depend on and trust each other when times get tough and worries become overwhelming, as they often have in the past year — a border wall, travel bans, bigoted rhetoric, and now TPS elimination. Amidst it all, they have hope and a belief that things will get better.
We are all friends in this class. We help each other.
“We are all friends in this class. We help each other,” said Istahil, a mother of four from Somalia.
Their English class gives these immigrants a safe place to ask questions and share their stories. And, as a supporter of these classes, you have given hope and shined a light in these often dark times.
Next week, as we give thanks and reflect back on the year, I will be thankful for all of you that have lifted up our immigrant communities, made Massachusetts a safe place to work, live and dream as an immigrant, and opened your hearts in displays of support throughout the year.
Thank you all,