Group Tackles Tough
by Janet Vandenabeele, The Detroit News, October 2, 2002
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Educators and community members in the Walled Lake Schools
area have learned that helping parents navigate cultural
differences can help students as well.
Walled Lake, which spans nine communities in western Oakland
County, has worked closely with a Metro Detroit group called
Chaldean Americans Reaching and Encouraging to help Chaldean
students and parents with their concerns.
CARE's education committee has outreach programs in several
middle and high schools, working with students to tackle tough
issues like stereotypes and peer pressure under the umbrella
of cultural diversity.
Chaldeans were the original settlers in what is now Iraq, and
speak Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. Persecution has
forced many Chaldeans out of the Middle East in several waves
over the past 100 years, and thousands settled in Metro
Maple Elementary School Principal Susan Schreiber worked with
CARE leaders to start a parents' group that meets monthly in
nearby St. Thomas Chaldean Parish in addition to programs she
oversees in her school.
"We talk about the issues that are affecting those particular
parents (such as): 'How can I help my child be more
successful?' ... and what does the school expect of them --
and what do they expect of us," Schreiber said.
For her efforts in helping the Chaldean community, Schreiber
was named CARE's Educator of the Year for 2002.
CARE also runs school programs in the West Bloomfield and
Southfield districts in Oakland County, Sterling Heights in
Macomb County, and Detroit. For information, visit the group's
Web site at