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McMahon Ethnic Night Draws Hundreds of Norwalkers

Reginald Lezeau and Oliver Dufresne danced to a Haitian rap song , while Eliana Sanchez starred in a skit showing what it is like to grow up as the daughter of two Hispanic immigrants. Both performed Wednesday night at Norwalk's Center of Global Studies.

It was the first time that Brien McMahon High School's Haitian and Hispanic clubs worked together for an afterschool activity, said Marcella Vidoli, a Spanish teacher at the high school. There have been Haitian nights, and Hispanic nights, and as a culminating activity for the year the events were combined.

About 300 people worked their way through a buffet of food prepared by teachers and parents. Afterwards, there was a Haitian-Hispanic Culture Show.

Sanchez and her friends began it with "A Day in the Life of Eliana Sanchez." It included Eliana's brother suffering from a wound he got in a fight and Eliana being taunted because she spoke Japanese, a skill she was learning at CGS. It ended with Eliana's mother grabbing her face and talking about how hard it was to move to America.

Vidoli said that administrators and teachers encourage parents to come to events like the Haitian and Hispanic nights to help them feel part of the school. Letting them see their kids perform helps, she said, and "everbody likes food."

They also explain the guidance department to parents, tell them how to read a report card and how to apply to college. "For many of them, it's a new experience," Vidoli said. "The communities they come from are very different."

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