Youth Futures Program Expands to International Student Center
In October, IRC Atlanta expanded its successful Youth Futures program by launching a second afterschool services site at the DeKalb International Student Center (ISC). The new site provides direct access to the most recently arrived refugee middle and high school students in the Metro Atlanta area, allowing IRC to intervene very early to promote their success in schools.
The International Student Center is the home of DeKalb County’s special all-day instructional lab for foreign-born students 13 -18 years old whose grade level is 7th or below. These teens receive intensive English language and remedial academic instruction at ISC before they are mainstreamed into their home school. A high percentage of the students in the ISC lab are refugees who often have missed years of schooling due to war or flight from persecution. By offering daily afterschool tutoring to these youth, IRC will help accelerate their transition into mainstream high schools.
The Youth Futures curriculum at the new site focuses on basic academic skills. Because they know little or no English, ISC students do not receive extensive homework reading and writing assignments. So, says IRC youth counselor Wendeth Rauf, "We extend the homework and practice math word problems, parts of speech, and work through reading books out loud."
On a recent afternoon, the students worked on a Youth Futures writing assignment on the subject "One thing I like about living in the United States." Paw Poe, a 14 year old Burmese refugee wrote, "I like to go to the school because is good to learn more English." Lebura, a 15 year old refugee from Nigeria, agreed, and added, "I like the United State because is peaceful and secure."
If you're interested in learning more about IRC Atlanta's Youth Futures program or would like to get involved as a volunteer, drop us a line at VolunteerATL@theIRC.org or call 404-292-7731 ext. 26.