Three years ago, Marina Veprinski and her colleagues at Lynhurst Middle School in Wayne Township had an idea for how to make their many international students feel more welcome.

Why not hold a big festival, they thought, where students, teachers and community members could celebrate cultures from across the world? With help from students from the University of Indianapolis, they got the idea off the ground.

On Wednesday, they held the Lynhurst International Festival for the third year, and Veprinski said it gets better each time.

“We want to show that we have we respect, and we want everybody to feel at home in the United States,” Veprinski said. “Students at our school feel very welcome in the whole district.”

The event, designed by Lynhurst teachers who specialize in teaching English as a new language, featured food, dancing and presentations about world cultures by students and members of the community.

Chalkbeat played a small role, too: debuting foreign language translations of our recent series on the challenges school face to help English language learners called “Lost In Translation.” To view stories from the series in Spanish or Burmese, readers can now simply click a button at the top of the story above the main text.

Luna Language Services, an Indianapolis-based non-profit, provided the translations for free.

We also posed a question to attendees: Why is it important to learn about other cultures?

You can see their answers in our photo gallery below: