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NHS and StuCo to Host Dance For Nahed Chapman School

NHS and StuCo members along with Pen Pals are throwing a non-profit dance for the Nahed Chapman students in St. Louis

Junior+Elise+Gordon+poses+with+a+pen+pal+from+Nahed+Chapman+New+American+Academy.+The+students+from+Francis+Howell+North+have+been+communicating+back+and+forth+with+their+pen+pals+by+sending+each+other+letters.+The+students+from+FHN+and+Nahed+Chapman+met+on+April+20%2C+for+the+first+time.+%28Photo+submitted%29
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NHS and StuCo to Host Dance For Nahed Chapman School

Junior Elise Gordon poses with a pen pal from Nahed Chapman New American Academy. The students from Francis Howell North have been communicating back and forth with their pen pals by sending each other letters. The students from FHN and Nahed Chapman met on April 20, for the first time. (Photo submitted)

Junior Elise Gordon poses with a pen pal from Nahed Chapman New American Academy. The students from Francis Howell North have been communicating back and forth with their pen pals by sending each other letters. The students from FHN and Nahed Chapman met on April 20, for the first time. (Photo submitted)

Junior Elise Gordon poses with a pen pal from Nahed Chapman New American Academy. The students from Francis Howell North have been communicating back and forth with their pen pals by sending each other letters. The students from FHN and Nahed Chapman met on April 20, for the first time. (Photo submitted)

Junior Elise Gordon poses with a pen pal from Nahed Chapman New American Academy. The students from Francis Howell North have been communicating back and forth with their pen pals by sending each other letters. The students from FHN and Nahed Chapman met on April 20, for the first time. (Photo submitted)

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NHS is hosting a dance for the Nahed Chapman New American Academy for refugee students. Members of StuCo and NHS will leave FHN to prepare for the dance at Roosevelt High School on May 18. The dance will have a refreshment table, a DJ and a dance floor for the students.

“We want to ease them into what most refugee students would never expect,” junior Sarah Zimmerman said. “A dance at our school is highly different than anything they have ever experienced.”

Decorations from FHN’s previous homecoming dances will be used to enhance the students’ first dance experience. NHS and StuCo members who help decorate will get to attend the dance. The dance will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and there is no admission fee for any of the students.

“It’s not really a charity dance,” Zimmerman said. “It’s more of a welcome to the U.S. by introducing them to a huge part of American high schools, which is the dances.”

Students that have been pen pals with a number of students from Nahed Chapman also get to attend the dance. StuCo members and others who wanted to participate have been pen pals with the students at Nahed Chapman throughout the school year. Almost every month, students would write to their assigned pen pal, and they would receive a letter back. Students got to ask questions and answer any questions their pen pal had. As new students arrived at Nahed Chapman, they could also join the pen pal program. Students at FHN could join as well to write to them.

“I think it’s great to have someone you can talk to and get to know more about,” sophomore Riley Witherbee said. “The dance will help the students embrace the public school feel. They will have more people to interact with and they can feel more included.”

Zimmerman and other members of NHS want to welcome the students into the public school system. A dance not only prepares them for their future school experience, but it also helps them come out of their shell, according to Zimmerman.  NHS has been holding a prom dress drive since April 23.  Students can donate their used prom dresses, homecoming dresses and party dresses. Zimmerman will be collecting them until May 17.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for new students from across the globe to connect and build connections,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a great way for our American students from FHN to not only get a greater world view from meeting these students and getting introduced to their other cultures, but to introduce the refugee students into the American culture and assimilate into our education system and help them build a friendship to make the transition easier.”

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