Children living in refugee camps and war-torn countries have limited access to education. Refugees arrive in the country often years behind the educational standards considered average. It is important to supplement their education to ensure success, both in the classroom and in adapting to their new home.
Refugee children and their families receive homework assistance, enrichment, mentoring and support in the Catholic Charities Youth Program, funded by the Refugee School Impact Grant. Begun in 2006, the program is available to refugee children who attend public school from ages 6-21 years.
During the school year, services include an after-school program for middle school clients and an after-school program for elementary school. The after-school programs focus on homework completion, tutoring, help with reading, and activities to reinforce English skills. Themes covered in the after-school program vary to some degree, but generally include topics related to health, safety, nutrition, and the interests of the program participants.
High school services include drop-in tutoring (provided weekly at schools with high concentrations of our students), mentorship, boys and girls group, college entrance and/or job readiness assistance, and other enrichment activities.
Parents participate in an orientation and case coordination to help them and their children take advantage of educational opportunities and achieve academic success. Home visits, teacher conferences, and parent/community events are scheduled as needs arise.
Summer programs vary year to year but include age-appropriate newcomers English, elementary, middle and high school camps, college/employment readiness and assistance.
Ultimately, Catholic Charities hopes to assist and empower refugee families to realize their academic potential and achieve their educational goals. Many refugee children complete post-secondary education.