DEARBORN’S ARAB COMMUNITY
When kids in Dearborn, Michigan, packed up their school things last March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no one knew how long it would be before they would return to school in person. Many families around the country were adjusting to online schooling platforms, figuring out technology, and keeping kids motivated to learn. Dearborn was certainly no exception. Many families in Dearborn, which has the largest concentration of Arabs outside of the Middle East, were already struggling with helping their kids with school and homework before the pandemic hit. Now, many parents, who are learning English themselves, have become at-home teacher assistants and IT specialists, while keeping up with their normal responsibilities. It has felt like there is no end in sight!
However, February 2021 brought some big changes for Dearborn schools as they began offering learning labs (small, in person learning groups) for the first time since the pandemic shutdown. Though it has been a long year for the community and the other 20,000 students in Dearborn, God willing, they will also be going back to school on a hybrid schedule starting March 1. This is a big encouragement for our community. For some families, this means that parents can go back to work, return to English classes, or study for their citizenship examine. However, it will also be a scary time for many, as the virus is still present in our community. Pray for the health and safety of students and staff as they return to school. Pray that this step would lead to a more semblance of normalcy as we continue to endeavor to build stronger relationships with the Arab community amid the ongoing Covid-19 realities.
To learn more about the Dearborn Project, visit gponline.org/project/dearborn-project/.