Parma City Schools hold event to welcome student refugees

Parma City Schools hold event to welcome student refugees
Parma City Schools hold event to welcome student refugees(Source: WOIO)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - Parma City Schools is stepping up for new students from different countries.

The district held a welcoming event Tuesday at the Parma branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, hoping to give some of the students a fresh start.

The event was open to Spanish, Ukrainian, and Arabic-speaking families.

“We’re trying to make sure that everybody who’s going to start with us in the fall has had opportunity to speak with our nutrition services team, with our medical team, with our enrollment teams, with some of our resources in the buildings in terms of home liaisons that they’ll be working with,” said Parma Schools Superintendent Charlie Smialek.

It was a lot of information and resources, especially for families who just moved to the United States like Mariya Hryhorenkos and her daughter.

She moved to Parma from war-torn Ukraine just months ago with her 7-year-old, while her husband stayed back to fight. It hasn’t been easy, especially as a single parent unable to speak English, but she’s certainly felt welcomed by the city of Parma.

“I’ve got a lot of support and a lot of help,” said Hryhorenkos.

Superintendent Smialek says around 110 Ukrainian students enrolled in Parma Schools the last few months.

While their journeys to get here have been heartbreaking and tumultuous, Parma Schools are doing what they can to give these refugees a fresh start.

“We’re ready to wrap our arms around them and help them succeed,” said Smialek.

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