Sharma celebrates Eid Al-Adha at The Avenue School
Article Published: Tuesday, 21 October, 2013
Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Friday 18th October 2013, attended The Avenue School Special Needs Academy to celebrate Eid Al-Adha with pupils.
The programme of events at the school, which was arranged by the Integrated Network for Special And Additional Needs (INSAAN) in partnership with the school and families, included readings from the Quran, Bollywood-style singing and dancing, and a fashion show. The pupils then attended workshops where they were able to take a lesson in cooking, listen to Arabic music, meet an inventor, apply henna and learn about the Hajj pilgrimage.
INSAAN is a new Reading-based independent charity and volunteer group, of which Alok is a Patron, that offers free advice, help and support to all families facing disability, especially those from ethnic minority communities. Approximately 40% of pupils at The Avenue School come from a South Asian, predominantly Muslim heritage.
INSAAN staff are a group of highly skilled and dedicated individuals who come from various walks of life, including medical consultants and GPs, social workers, psychologists, councillors, businessmen, bankers, teachers, support workers, IT specialists, university students, housewives and parents who have firsthand experience of disability and related matters. All have given their time on a free and voluntary basis to help and support families facing disability.
Alok Sharma said:
“I was delighted to attend the Eid celebrations with pupils at The Avenue School and congratulations to INSAAN for all their hard work with the school in putting together a really fun-filled day. There is always such an uplifting and joyful spirit throughout the Avenue School which is a real testament to the hardworking and inspirational staff led by headteacher Dame Sue Bourne.”
Dame Sue Bourne, Headteacher at The Avenue School said:
“This joyful celebration was the culmination of yet another very special week at The Avenue School. Several pupils had already performed brilliantly in Hamlet on stage for the Shakespeare for Schools Festival and one of that group, Naeem Choudhury, performed brilliantly again on Friday. His recital of a complex verse from the Quran in Arabic was truly wonderful and the audience were visibly moved. Other performances were equally stunning and the whole community worked so hard to make it an amazing day. The stamina shown was incredible, with many of the ladies working from the early hours of the morning to prepare a delicious lunch for the whole school and the many visitors.”
Ruby Butt, Chair of INSAAN said:
“What an absolutely amazing day we had. The pupils and the dedicated staff at the Avenue school really excelled themselves as we were treated to a fun-filled display of vibrant colours, aromas, tastes, fashion and music in celebration of the Eid festival. My favourite moment was listening to one very special young man who brought tears to the eyes of some parents with his emotional recitation of a verse from the Quran. The INSAAN team would like to congratulate all at the Avenue School for their tremendous hard work. The genuine love, personal care and attention shown to pupils by staff was very humbling. We look forward to working with and supporting the School in many more future community and cultural events to come.”