Shifting Population Triggers New Hire Of Multi-Lingual Bird Educator

Given the diverse population in Windsor-Essex, the Pelee Island Bird Observatory is making sure no one gets left behind.

It has hired a multi-lingual educator to visit area schools to teach children about birds.

Fatima Serhan, a Windsor-native, speaks French and Arabic and will be visiting area classrooms that are either French, Arabic speaking or immersion, in the new year.

Observatory Education Co-ordinator Sarah Keating says in the past year or so, it had noticed that some classrooms were being left out of visits by the Observatory because students didn't speak English as their first language.

Speaking on AM800's the Afternoon News, Keating says this will expose more students to importance of birds to the region.

"According to the immigration stats, one in four residents in Windsor are immigrants and we are actually the third most ethically diverse city in Canada and outside of English, Arabic is the most commonly spoken language at home," she said.

The new hire will also help to translate a lot of material from English to French or Arabic.

Keating says sadly, the bird population is reflecting the environment.

"What we are seeing on the island is that there is a clear decrease of birds coming through migration season and that's an issue, not just for the birds but also for us," she said.

Keating hope Serhan will begin visits to different language classrooms in March.