The IRC Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA) is a six-week program designed to prepare refugee and asylee youth (ages 5 to 19) for the upcoming school year. On July 10th, 90 staff and volunteers welcomed over 120 students from 34 countries, speaking 22 languages, to Battery Park City School. A third of these students have been in the U.S. less than 6 months, and more than half have been in the country between one and two years.
RYSA is designed to model the public school experience, empowering students to thrive in American school culture through immersion in American teaching styles and routines. Teachers and volunteers work with students in math, English, and social studies. In partnership with teaching artists from ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), RYSA students take classes in storytelling, music, and dance, while extra-curricular clubs help them discover new interests and hobbies. RYSA offers a holistic and deeply supportive environment, with high teacher to pupil ratios and a student support team to help students develop their social and emotional skills. Field trips every Friday encourage students to learn more about their new home and facilitate friendships, which last well beyond the summer.
To support RYSA, click here.