Regardless of a refugee family’s origin or circumstances, parents arrive with the dream that their children will succeed in the United States. The Refugee School Impact Program strives to help this dream become a reality for every refugee family. Newly-arrived parents and children receive critical information about what to expect at school and guidance as they adjust to a new culture and language. Bridge Refugee Services is one of several agencies in Tennessee funded to provide these services, and the only recipient in East Tennessee. Through this program, Bridge is able to connect refugees with:
• After-school tutoring with volunteers
• Training and support for Knox County teachers and staff
• After-school and/or summer clubs and activities
• Parental involvement programs
• Connection to bilingual/bicultural counselors
Bridge Refugee Services partners with faith communities and local volunteers to help provide tutors, recreational activities, summer programs, English Language Learner’s groups, and field trips for students. With the support of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Bridge conducts an annual English Camp for our newly-arrived middle school and high school students each summer. This program provides orientation to our community and culture, an opportunity to make friends, and English practice to prepare for school. For many of our youth, the camp is a huge stepping stone in building their confidence not only academically, but socially. If you are interested in learning more about our programming for youth, contact School Liaison Laura Katie Shannon at 865-540-1311 ext.105. If you are in Chattanooga, you can contact Jennifer Croxall at 423-355-5969.