You Are Welcome Here: Support for Immigrant Students in Dearborn, Michigan
You Are Welcome Here (#DearbornWelcome) is an award-winning 20-minute film from Colorín Colorado highlighting how the Dearborn, MI public school district is helping its immigrant students succeed. The film features Salina Elementary School and Salina Intermediate School in the South End of Dearborn which serve large populations of families from Yemen.
Extended interviews are available along with other videos and articles from Dearborn below. The film is also available with Arabic subtitles.
Awards and features
- Michigan Emmy Award: Special Program About Societal Concerns, 2020
- Telly Silver Award for Education, 2020
This project is also featured in the AFT's American Educator Spring 2020 edition.
Viewer note: The film includes references to traumatic topics such as violence and family separation.
This film was produced with the generous support of our founding partner, the American Federation of Teachers.
You Are Welcome Here: Preview
This preview of You Are Welcome Here was presented at AFT's TEACH 2019 conference.
A warm welcome for immigrant families in the front office
Norieah Ahmed, the Child Accounting Secretary at Salina Elementary School in Dearborn, MI, talks about her role in welcoming newcomer immigrant families to the school from the moment they walk in the door.
Looking at the whole child: Conversations with an award-winning social worker
Meet Dr. Rola Bazzi-Gates, a special education coordinator for Dearborn Public Schools and Michigan's 2016 Social Worker of the Year. Learn how her personal experience living through conflict helped prepare her to support students and families today.
Interviews with Featured Educators
Susan Stanley is the principal of Salina Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan. In this interview, she discusses the ways her school is helping to address student trauma and creating a welcoming environment for all families.
Diana Alqadhi is an English Language Development Specialist at Salina Intermediate School in Dearborn, MI. As part of her work, she teachers newcomer immigrants. In this interview, she talks about the importance of building relationships with students and identifying their strengths.
Nadra Shami currently serves as a Language and Literacy SIOP Trainer in Dearborn, MI. The daughter of immigrants, Nadra grew up in Dearborn and her first job was at the school she attended as a child. In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Nadra explains how Dearborn is supporting its English language learners and immigrant students by developing staff capacity to serve a diverse student population.
How Salina Elementary School Is Helping ELLs Succeed During COVID-19
In this series, learn how school leaders and staff at Salina Elementary, featured in our documentary above, have been supporting students, families, and each other through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- "Grow As You Go": 10 Strategies for Supporting SEL for ELLs
- "Mental health comes first": A Principal Shares Her Priorities for This Year
- Supporting ELL Success with STEAM and Hands-On Learning
- Supporting Young ELLs' Success During COVID-19
- Prioritizing Social and Emotional Support for ELLs, School Staff and Families (Share My Lesson Webinar)
Learn how families can support their children's social-emotional health and find support resources in their home languages. This tip sheet is also available in 16 languages, including Arabic.