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Helping At Risk Refugee Students

 

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Our ministry is growing! We are serving well over 100 elementary and middle school students every afternoon at Homework Help, along with another 15 or so high school and college students in the evenings. We see kids making progress in all areas. It is exciting to see the culture of reading and homework that exists at Cedar Point. This past year, we received our biggest influx of new families into the community. The schools have done a fantastic job adjusting to increased ESL numbers and have been visiting the community regularly. Because of language differences, teacher to parent communication is challenging. Community visits often require numerous translators to meet all the language needs.

In the midst of all of these new students, we have a few who are really struggling both academically and emotionally. It is quite challenging for some kids to sit in a classroom all day. Many come from substandard or disjointed educational backgrounds - with many experiencing gaps in schooling. Some have experienced significant emotional trauma. We also have some students who arrived in the US with significant medical histories which impact learning. Kids who struggle require intervention. This intervention involves school conferences and medical appointments. Because parents do not speak English and most do not drive, it requires transportation and translation. Each case can require multiple conferences and doctors visits. This aspect of what we do in the community is extremely valuable, but it can also be daunting for us to cover alone.

We could use a small group of volunteers who would be willing to serve students and families in this way. You would be provided with all the support you need to be successful. School conferences generally require only transportation for the parent as schools are required to provide translation services. Doctor visits generally require a bit more as paperwork must be filled out with a translator. We have translators we can use for medical appointments and would connect you to what is needed for a given appointment. Appointments are a very sweet time for relationship building with families. Through these appointments, we are helping the student, the family, the school, and our community. Once all important information is collected, schools can make effective intervention plans that are unique to each student. We see students overcoming huge hurdles and blossoming.

Meeting practical needs is Gospel work. As God calls us to love and serve our neighbors, He is faithful to provide what we need. Our desire is to make much of the name of Christ in our community!

If you are interested in this opportunity or would like to learn more, let me know (msuffrid@gmail.com).