Even in these hard economic times, immigrants continue to arrive. Some of these new arrivals are refugees. Transitions for them are difficult. After all, everything they encounter in the US is new--language, school system, foods, gender roles, changes in status, life in the country's biggest city, public transportation, etc. Yes, adults will have major issues in adjusting to life here and trying to fit in, but it can be even scarier for children. How do they take that all vital first step in surviving in school here?
"This year, more than 100 students enrolled in the six-week program,
which offered an academic curriculum supplemented by creative-arts
classes, field trips and other activities. They hailed from at least 13
countries, including Nepal, Burkina Faso, Iran, Iraq and Cameroon. Some
had been in the country for a couple of years; others, like the Diallos,
had just arrived. They spoke at least 17 native languages. Some could
speak and read English fluently; others could not write their own name
in any language. Some had attended school in their home countries;
others had never been in a classroom. " (From article)
Reading this article offers teachers a quick reminder that some of their students have overcome major hurdles to make it to the US. Yet, cultural differences aside, they are kids who want to fit in, make friends, and do well. View the video clip on page two and explore the program these students are enrolled in. There are many similarities to newcomer centers, but a bit more is provided here such as field trips (a must to build confidence in taking NYC Subway system for example--humor intended). Students are also provided with academic content classes along with building conversational English skills. Further, part of the program is to fully familiarize students with the rules of the American public school system.
NYC'S SUMMER ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN
Enjoy the article:) Explore your school system and see what it does to ease the transition of refugee children to your school system.
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