International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Welcoming Refugee Youth Back to School and School Supplies Needed

Photo: Lily Solmssen/The IRC

Tucson students heading back to school this August may see some new faces in their classrooms. This year, hundreds of refugees have made Tucson their new home – and for many of the children, going to school is one of the first major steps in settling into their new American lives.


While the typical American child heading back to school may experience a range of emotions – from excitement, to nervousness, sadness that summer break is over – this year may be the first time a refugee child has had an opportunity to go to school. On top of all the normal emotions, they are also facing an entirely new home, culture, language and dress.


The IRC in Tucson wants to remind parents and teachers that encouraging students to reach out to their new refugee classmates could make a tremendous difference how the child adapts to their new school environment. Inviting a new classmate to join them at lunch, play during recess, or share a seat on the bus will not only make the new kid feel welcome, but it may give your child an opportunity learn about a culture and background different from their own.


School Supply Donations Needed:

The IRC in Tucson provides back-to-school supplies for refugee youth up to 18 years of age. Donations of notebooks, pocket folders, pencil sharpeners, educational books and calculators are among most urgently needed items. To make a donation, please contact or call (520) 319-2128 and ask to speak with Desiree. Thank you!