Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter
May 2021
Volume 2 Issue 4
Guiding Principle of Diversity and Inclusion
The Buford City School System believes in creating and maintaining a safe, caring, and mutually respectful and inclusive environment where all students, staff, and families are valued for their diverse cultural heritages.
Congratulations Class of 2021!
It's time for the 2021 graduating class of Buford High School to say goodbye and they are prepared to take on the world! Here's a quick look at what the graduates are planning to do...
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Since 1979, May has been a dedicated time to celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage, but it wasn't until 1992 that May was officially designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Selected to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 that was made possible by thousands of Chinese laborers, APAH Month elevates the stories, contributions, and experiences of the Asian and Asian American communities.
Learn about Asian Cultures
Are you and your family interested in learning about different Asian cultures? The public library started a series of virtual activities this month. Kids (K-12) can explore their Google classroom to find fun activities like crafts, recipes, and more! (Students will need a Gmail or other email account to register through Google).
You can also learn about the history, identity, contributions, and challenges experienced by Asian Americans through a series of videos on PBS.
Meet Mrs. Ling Chin
Registrar at BSA
Hello everyone! My name is Ling. I hope that you enjoy getting to know me and my family.

We have been a part of Buford City Schools since our daughter, Rachael, started in kindergarten. She is currently a Senior at Buford High School and will be graduating this week.

My family celebrates and recognizes all the traditional events that take place on the lunar calendar. It's quite amazing! I never realized the lunar calendar has a duplicate month every year. When you reach your zodiac year you may get to celebrate 4 birthdays within a year. But, of course, every child's favorite time is Chinese New Year! They receive a red envelope with money from grandparents, parents, uncle and aunts to enjoy the prosperous year.

The most important thing our family values is time together. It can be a challenge to have relatives come together during festivities. It fills us with joy to reach out and respectfully pay them a visit. We love to travel overseas to see family members as well. We have so many wonderful memories of these trips! Sightseeing, shopping, exploring different cultures, and just being together is what makes our family so special!
Community Connection
Sonia’s Tienda y Carniceria Store
Meet Marvella and Natividad, owners of Sonia's Tienda y Carniceria
(Interviewed by Gloria Whidby)
Sonia’s Tienda y Carniceria store is located on Main Street in Historical Downtown Buford.
The owners are Marvella Jaramillo Cabrera & Natividad Cabrera Cruz. The business is named after their daughter, Sonia.

They are the proud parents of several Buford graduates, Oswaldo, Sonia (studying cosmetology and business administration), and Jaqueline (c/o 2021). Their son Adiel is a student at BHS.

The family business is operated with the help of 15-20 employees including many nieces and nephews. Family is important to the Cabreras. When Marvella’s brother passed away, she adopted his 3 children.

Before buying the already established business (formerly named Blancas), Maravella was very successful in sales of boots, blankets, telephone prepaid cards and gold jewelry.

When the opportunity came to start a business in downtown Buford, her husband pursued it. Mr. Cabrera had to learn accounting and now does all of the paperwork. This is quite an accomplishment, since Natividad and Marvella did not have much education in the Municipality of Cutzamala, Mexico where they attended elementary school together.

During the interview I was reminded of the cartoon SpongeBob and the Krusty Krab’s special sauce that others are always trying to get. Marvella makes her own special salsas and sauce, which she calls her “Molino de Luz”. She makes it at home only; not even her employees have the recipe. Other local Carnicerias have come to the store and asked her for her special sauce recipe. She giggles and tells me that she will not give away her recipe, but offers to give them the sauce.
The Cabrera's desire is to serve Buford and other local communities. Customers include all nationalities, many of whom have been regulars for 20 years. They love soccer and sponsor local association sports teams. They have a nephew who plays for Atlanta United. Marvella believes word of mouth has really helped their business to be so successful.
At Sonia's, they serve fresh, never frozen, Latin American and Mexican foods including, but not limited to barbacoa, tacos, tortas, carnitas, carne seca, chorizo, pollo, sopes, guacamole, tamales, fresh corn tortillas (no preservatives).
Each week they sell 250-300 lbs. of barbacoa and pollos asados!
Other services offered: Western Union; special order piñatas, check cashing, free deliveries to the needy, and providing special order foods for wedding celebrations of up to 350 people.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Student Spotlights
Buford Elementary
Ellie is finishing up her kindergarten year at BES! She is always a nice friend to her peers, and is an artist when it comes to her beautiful coloring! Ellie enjoys playing tennis, going to art classes, Korean school, and church events. She is also a big sister and loves spending time with her Grandma, cousins, aunt, and family!
Buford Elementary
Ian has really enjoyed his kindergarten year at BES! He is a motivated, engaged learner who is proud of his work! Ian enjoys playing tennis, going to art classes, Korean School, and being a big brother! His favorite subject is writing. He is a great friend to his peers at school.
Chanwoo "Daniel"
Buford Academy
Chanwoo "Daniel" is a first grade ESOL student. He arrived in the United States from South Korea in March of this year. Since his arrival, he has made amazing growth in only a short amount of time. He is speaking, reading, and writing in English! When he was in Korea, he received instruction for speaking and reading in English, so he arrived ahead of the game and ready to dive into learning. He has two brothers and one sister who also made the transition to America. His mom says he enjoys being at Buford Academy. He loves jumping rope, hula hooping and hanging out with all the new friends he has made!
We look forward to a rewarding second grade experience with Daniel. 
Buford Senior Academy
Ocean is a fourth grade ESOL student who has made HUGE improvements in his reading, writing, and overall school performance since the beginning of the year. He was very unsure, not confident, and struggled to write a complete sentence. Now, he is reading on grade level, able to write an extended response, volunteers to read aloud in class, and shares something with the class daily! 
We love Ocean and are extremely proud of him!
Christina Zhang is an eighth grader at BMS. Christina consistently performs at the top of her class in academics and demonstrates her drive for success each day. Her favorite class is science because she enjoys learning about the way things work. Christina placed 2nd in this year's Black History Month Poetry Contest.

Christina's teachers and peers think very highly of her. According to Chelsey Gillilan, social studies teacher, "Christina's dry wit is one of my favorite things about her. 
I have confidence that Christina can accomplish anything she sets her mind to."

Katie Duncan, language arts teacher,
stated, "While often quiet in class, Christina is definitely one of the hardest working students that I teach. Her intelligence, personality, and kindness are evident to everyone around her." 

Christina's peers and friends also admire her. Raina says, "She is really a smart and funny person, who is very easy to talk to. I am lucky to have her as my friend." 
Buford Middle
Outside of school Christina spends a lot of time with her family. One of their most memorable traditions centers around celebrating Chinese New Year. Each year, her family gathers and celebrates with traditional Chinese dishes. 
BMS is definitely fortunate to have Christina as a part of our school family!
Food and Museum Tours
From traditional Korean restaurants and markets to spas and karaoke, there's not much you can experience in Korea that you can't also do in Gwinnett. Through the immersive Seoul of the South™ Korean restaurant tour, you'll learn all about the rise of this unique (and delicious) culture in Gwinnett.
The Seoul of the South™ Korean restaurant tour takes place at four local restaurants and bakeries. Throughout the tour, you'll be given information about Korean culture in Gwinnett, as well as details about the foods you try.
Visit the Buford Museum
On the ground floor of the Buford Community Center, you can take a look into Buford's past. The Buford Museum is home to a collection of artifacts, photos, and antiques dating back to the area's earliest known residents, the Native Americans.
You'll also find historical items from the founding of the Town of Buford in 1872, products created during the cities industrial boom in the early 20th century, a number of pieces from local artists over the years, and much more.
Admission is FREE!
Are you interested in joining the Diversity and Inclusion Community Advisory and Service Council?
Applications for new members will be available in August. Look for more information in the
August district newsletter.
If you would like to provide feedback on this month's newsletter, please feel free to
email us!