Refugee Children Learn about American Schools

Starting a new school can be difficult for anyone. It’s especially challenging for refugee children who must become familiar with another country’s school rules and culture.

To help get the children ready for school in America, Catholic Charities’ Refugee and Immigration Services offered a four day, back-to-school camp. Twenty-eight students attended, with the majority being from the Congolese and Bhutanese populations. The children were split into two age groups. The younger group focused on more basic rules and English phrases, while the older group discussed cultural identity and ways to be successful in school.

In addition to classroom instruction, the children participated in a variety of activities including a scavenger hunt, dance performance and ice cream social. Backpacks stuffed with supplies that were donated from a parish drive were distributed to all the participants.

“I think this camp was important because it gave the refugee children the chance to be in a simulated school environment before they had to take on the real deal,” says Kayla Bowers, Refugee Learning Center.