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Academics & Acclimation: Refugee School Impact’s 2023 Summer Camp Program

This July our Refugee School Impact (RSI) Program hosted their annual summer enrichment program for newly arrived refugee children. Twenty-eight kids between the ages of 6-15 years old were given the opportunity to make friends, practice English and gain exposure to the American school system – all while having an opportunity to enjoy themselves amidst the challenges and new transitions they face.

Children in the program spoke up to eight different languages including Burmese, Hakha Chin, Chin Falam, Zotung, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and Kinyarwanda. On the first day of camp interpreters helped the children orient themselves. Throughout the camp’s week-long session, children who spoke different languages bonded over games, activities and shared connections.

Various partners came to visit and teach the children different skills and activities including English-Art classes, soccer sessions, science experiments, computer classes, intro to budgeting classes and more. Lunch was catered by a New Roots graduate, as well as local restaurants. Breakfast and snacks were provided through our Kids’ Summer Food Program.

“Many of the children we work with don’t always get the chance to play and enjoy being a child. Our summer camp gave them an opportunity to have some fun with other children, and begin to learn more about the school system through structured activities and English classes, as well as meet community partners,” said Aimée Perera, Refugee Education Coordinator.

Many Thanks to Our Summer Camp Partners, Staff & Volunteers:

  • Chris White (Volunteer driver and classroom assistant)
  • Jeff Lavery (Volunteer bus driver)
  • Bishop Ward High School (RSI program site host)
  • Donnelly College (RSI program site host)
  • The Sisters Servants of Mary (RSI program site host)
  • Sporting KC Youth Coaching
  • The Union Station Science City on the Road
  • The Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department
  • The Nelson Atkins English Education team
  • Catholic Charities’ Kids’ Summer Food Program staff and volunteers
  • Catholic Charities’ Learning Center Digital Access staff and volunteers
  • Catholic Charities’ Asset Development staff and volunteers
  • Catholic Charities’ RSI staff, interns and volunteers
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