The schools of the city of Parma organize an event to welcome refugee students

PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) – Schools in the city of Parma are preparing to welcome new students from different countries.

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

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

“We’re trying to make sure that everyone who’s going to start with us in the fall has had the 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 the home connections they will work 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 a few months ago with her 7-year-old child, while her husband stayed to fight. It wasn’t easy, especially as a single mother unable to speak English, but she certainly felt welcomed by the city of Parma.

“I have a lot of support and a lot of help,” Hryhorenkos said.

According to Superintendent Smialek, about 110 Ukrainian students have enrolled in Parma schools in recent months.

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

“We are ready to hug them and help them succeed,” Smialek said.

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