Elementary school hosts Parade of Nations

104 of school's 730 students come from other countries

SAN ANTONIO – At a school with students from 31 different countries -- learning takes on a whole new meaning.

The students of Colonies North Elementary School celebrated their diversity Friday with a Parade of Nations.

Hijran, a fifth-grader from Iraq, helped carry her flag in front of her school. She said doing so made her feel proud.

Hirjran walked alongside her friend Daniah, who is also from Iraq.

"We hold the flag and go around and sing 'We Can Change the World,' and I like it," Daniah said.

A total of 104 of the school's 730 students are refugees -- coming from war-torn countries, or areas of violence. Many of those students come to the U.S. knowing multiple languages, but a lot of them pick up languages just from playing with each other.

Sahirah, a fifth-grader from Malasia, knows five languages.

So does her friend, Zubaidah, a fourth-grader from Malaysia.

"(I know) a little bit of Iraqi, Indian, Malaysian, a little bit of Burmese," she said.

School Principal Kris Cotton said many times, these students act as teachers themselves.

"When the new ones come, if we have difficulty communicating with them, our students will help us to translate and better understand them," she said.

Cotton said the students amaze her every day, seeing past the differences and definitions that many adults focus on.

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