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Refugee Youth Summer Academy Volunteer Activity Facilitator

Opportunity no longer active

Background/IRC Summary:  
Since 2011, the IRC has resettled hundreds of refugee youth to Elizabeth, New Jersey. The trauma of being forced from their homes, prolonged separation from loved ones, displacement, language barriers and poor or lapsed education compounds the academic challenges faced by refugee youth. IRC currently works with over 100 refugee students enrolled in 17 Elizabeth Public Schools, as well as 4 Roselle Public Schools, with new students arriving each month. IRC’s youth program works in collaboration with schools and families to overcome barriers and promote the academic and social success of refugee students.

Job Overview/Summary: 
In August 2019, the IRC in New Jersey will host a three-week summer program focusing on English as a Second Language (ESL) and psychosocial enrichment for refugee youth living in Elizabeth and Roselle, New Jersey. The Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA) will serve up to 90 students ages 5 – 20, in six classes, from at least 10 countries. Students will engage in ESL, creative arts, sports, field trips, and other activities. The Activity Facilitators will work closely with ESL Lead Teachers, clinical psychology doctoral students, and other RYSA staff to reinforce English language learning and school preparation with refugee youth in a positive and healing classroom environment. 

At all grade levels (kindergarten, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12) Activity Facilitators will develop, implement, and supervise activities such as art, music, dance, theater, etc. The specialty area will be determined based upon the candidate’ area of expertise. Each Activity Facilitator is expected to implement a culturally and age-appropriate activity for a class of approximately 15 students for approximately 30-50 minutes, infusing principles from the IRC Safe Healing and Learning Spaces model. Given the varied English levels and formal education experiences of the student body, the Activity Facilitator must be flexible and comfortable with using various methods for engaging with English Language Learners (ELLs). Throughout their specialized activity, facilitators will be expected to contribute to the program’s goals of fostering students’ English competence and social-emotional development.  

Candidates will be working with a variety of class levels. All applicants must be experienced in their specialty area.  
Position term: July 29- August2: 20 hours of training and preparation (dates and times TBD)
August 5-August 23: Facilitator hours will be determined based upon program scheduling 

Major Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in Youth Summer Staff training in late July/early August and all program meetings
  • Ensure the activity environment is welcoming, nurturing, and supportive to refugee students
  • With input from the Education Specialist and Youth Coordinator, implement a culturally and age-appropriate specialized activity using student-centered teaching methodologies for English Language Learners at all school levels.  
  • Act as a positive role model for students and staff
  • Comply with all agency policies and protocols
  • Productively incorporate assistant teacher and classroom volunteers into activity instruction
  • Facilitate student projects per class throughout the three-week program to be presented to families upon the conclusion of programming during RYSA graduation

Job Requirements: 

  • A minimum of two years facilitating specialized activity
  • Trauma-informed training in field preferred
  • Experience working with diverse ELL students preferred
  • Cultural competence and cross-cultural or overseas experience desirable
  • Experience working with refugee and/or immigrant populations desirable
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Second Language proficiency in Arabic, Kiswahili, Pashto, Dari, Farsi, Urdu, or French desirable

Working Environment: Travel is necessary to accompany students and staff on field trips.  

To apply, click here.

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