Gannon University Students Participate In Diversity Days

Posted: May 24, 2016

Gannon University English as a Second Language Program (ESL) students from China, Germany, India, Libya, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have visited Diehl Elementary and Emerson-Gridley Schools, and most recently, Luther Memorial Academy to teach the elementary school students about different cultures.

The Gannon students created learning stations for each of their home countries. The students at Luther visited each station and learned about the countries' geographical location, demographics, political and social systems.

Dressed in the traditional clothing worn in their country, the Gannon students explained to the Luther students why those items are worn and for what reason. Using images, videos and explanation, they also taught their younger counterparts about life in their home countries.

The students got to enjoy activities such as soccer, henna and learning basic greetings and phrases in Arabic, Chinese, German and Turkish.

Gannon's ESL students also visited Diehl and Emerson-Gridley in the Fall 2015 semester. At these interactive events, as each student entered the gym in their school they were handed a boarding pass and asked to sit as if they were on plane.

Once all arranged, the students watched a video of a flight attendant preparing everyone for "takeoff." When the video was finished, the students then "got off the plane" and were rotated through six stations to learn about the Gannon ESL students' home countries and their traditions.

The days Gannon's ESL students spent with the local elementary schools is an example of how Gannon is working with Erie to improve its neighborhoods through the Erie-Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS) initiative, which sponsored the Diversity Day program, and other outreach and service-learning activities. Gannon is a diverse university with over 800 international students from 39 countries and continues to grow.

For more information on Gannon's involvement in the Erie community, click here