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AFS breaks down barriers, builds cultural connections

International students in downtown Toledo
Posted On: Friday, January 31, 2020

International students in downtown Toledo

The Ottawa Hills Diversity Club and AFS (American Field Service) hosted their annual Diversity Weekend, welcoming AFS high school exchange students from Germany, France, Brazil, Spain, Paraguay, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Italy. AFS students shared their culture during visits to many elementary and Junior/Senior High School classrooms Friday morning.

Local hosts, AFS exchange students, and OH Diversity Club members enjoyed luncheons Friday and Saturday, as well as a wonderful dinner of Indian food Friday night at the home of Ingrid and Jose Mendez. Swimming and sports fun at the UT Recreation Center was followed by an ice cream sundae after-party hosted by the McGrath family.

Organizers of the event credited the weekend's success to the many Ottawa Hills host families who not only hosted students, but also drove carpools, set up meals, and helped welcome the exchange students. Special thanks to the families for opening their homes to the AFS students. They include: Pat Goik and Jennifer Barret, Michelle and Matthew Rea, Rabia Akbar and Javed Cheema, Laura and Kyle Randall, Teresa and Robert Langenderfer, Raniah Jaouni and Mohammed Maaieh, Suzanne and Thomas Frueh, Tami and Rick Summers, and Michelle and Tom McGrath.

Thanks to AFS teacher/advisor Hannah Lehmann and liaison Linda Sherry for handling the logistics for Diversity Weekend. Thanks to community volunteers Heidi Glosser and Edwina Ledgard. OHHS and AFS are seeking families interested in hosting international students next year. Please contact Linda Sherry at dsher343@aol.com for more information.





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