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RYSA 2020 - Going Virtual

To ensure student and staff safety, IRC in NY's Refugee Youth Summer Academy 2020 is entirely remote this summer. While this is the 21st year of this extraordinary program, this is the first foray into virtual learning at this scale for IRC's youth program. The theme of RYSA this year is U.N.I.T.E. and RYSA students and teachers are doing just that, building a united community across the city through this virtual context. Teachers and staff are focused on helping students develop both the English language and digital literacy skills needed to make a strong start in New York City public schools this fall.

Each student received a free learning kit for RYSA's highly engaging and hands-on curriculum across age groups. Photo: Caitlyn Griffith-Heritage/IRC.

RYSA launched the first week of July, welcoming over 100 students across all school ages through a variety of devices to connect in virtual classrooms. Each student was provided a learning kit full of art supplies, notebooks, writing tools, and sensory learning items to ensure high levels of engagement while in their homes. Students participate in Math, English, Social Studies, and Arts classes with assignments that integrate online platforms with hands on activities using supplies from their learning kits. This hybrid model offers some of the most engaging elements of in-class learning while ensuring student, teacher, and staff safety in New York.

RYSA teachers are harnessing their wisdom from remote teaching in schools this spring to empower RYSA students and equip them with learning strategies for the upcoming school year as New York City continues to adapt for COVID-19 safety. RYSA teachers are certified teachers who have a wealth of knowledge from their own navigation of the challenges and strengths presented by online learning, which has strengthened RYSA's venture into virtual programming this summer. 

IRC is seeking to extend critical supports to students beyond RYSA to help ensure academic gains continue and strengthen into the school year. To support the vital work of IRC's youth program, please click here.