Ready, Set, Learn! IRC Preps Refugee Youth for School
This summer, more than 40 recently arrived refugee youth will have an opportunity to improve their language, reading, and math skills at IRC New York’s Summer School Readiness Program, helping them to perform at grade level when they return to their schools in the fall. Students, teachers, and volunteers will meet at the Nightingale-Bamford School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The program will merge classroom-based instruction with workshops focused on artistic expression, recreation, community service, and community building.
Twenty-five volunteers will be involved in the day-to-day activities associated with the program, many of whom are returning for their second year. Most are high school volunteers attend from local schools, including Bronx High School of Science, Brearley, Chapin, Townsend Harris, Dwight, Riverdale, Mineola High School, Spence, Bronx Leadership Academy, Collegiate School, Bard Early College, and Nightingale-Bamford. There are also several college student volunteers from Brown University, Fordham University, Georgetown, Northwestern, New York University, Seton Hall, and Cornell. Several of the volunteers were resettled as refugees in New York and have gone on to become great leaders for more recently arrived refugees.
In addition to student volunteers, many adults are donating their time, including employees of Human Rights Watch and the New York City Board of Education. One volunteer new to the program this summer, David Nieves, is planning for his Peace Corps rotation, which will begin next year. He will be working with high school aged refugees, helping them to develop English language skills and assisting teachers in other subjects like math. “I’m very excited to start working with the students,” he explained. “This will be great experience.”
In collaboration with Dzieci and Magbana Dance, the program will also offer workshops in drama and theater and dance workshops. A music and dance workshop will also be offered to the youngest refugee youth, through a partnership with the Diller Quaile School of Music.
There is limited space for volunteers to visit the program - if you are interested in scheduling a visit to the camp or in finding out about how you can support the youth program, please contact Kate Macom, Youth Program Coordinator (email@example.com).