The Medford Haitian Oral History Project

Haitian Flag Day 2013

by Nicholas Iovino

About 75 Haitian students gathered in the McGlynn Middle School auditorium on May 17, 2013, to celebrate Haitian Flag Day. “We have so many Haitian students, we wanted to do something special,” said McGlynn Middle School Principal Jake Edwards.

Edwards said the celebration was organized after Haitian students urged him to arrange something special for the holiday. The students assembled on the school’s auditorium stage, where they held Haitian flags and sang the country’s national anthem. Medford storyteller Sharon Kennedy, who is spearheading the “Haitian Culture and Stories Project,” also treated the students to a traditional Haitian folktale.

This year, Medford’s English Language Learners (ELL) program for middle school students was consolidated from two middle schools to just the McGlynn School. About 53 ELL students are now enrolled at the McGlynn, with Haiti being the most common country of origin among those students. “Kids come to school speaking no English, and after two weeks, they’re saying ‘Good morning, Mr. Edward,” said the principal. “It’s incredible.”

Haiti’s official Flag Day was on Saturday, May 18.

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