Supporting Students New to America
Orientation & Welcome
Many members of local communities in the United States wonder who refugees are, why they are resettling, how the resettlement process works, and what is expected of refugees once they arrive in the United States.
Cultural Orientation is the pre-departure and post-arrival education provided to refugee newcomers to the U.S. to help them acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to adapt to their lives in the United States and become fully integrated into their communities.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Welcoming America helps organizations and communities across the United States to prepare their communities for successful resettlement over the long term by fostering greater understanding and support for refugees.
WETA’s Colorin Colorado! A bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners offers numerous resources for supporting Refugee students.
Many refugees leave behind more than their home when conflict forces them to flee – they must also abandon their school. More than half of all refugees are aged under 18, and some older refugees were displaced while pursuing tertiary education.
This blog post is part of New America’s Dual Language Learners National Work Group.
New America’s Education Policy program uses original research and policy analysis to help solve the nation’s critical education problems, crafting objective analyses and suggesting new ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large.
Trauma & Crisis
Many refugees, especially children, have experienced trauma related to war or persecution that may affect their mental and physical health long after the events have occurred. These traumatic events may occur while the refugees are in their country of origin, during displacement from their country of origin, or in the resettlement process here in the US.
The complexities of the Syrian War remain mystifying for most Americans, despite years of bloodshed and ink spilled. The country is a hodgepodge of ethno-religious communities, and always has been. Various competing groups are fighting passionately for different causes, along battle lines that often overlap.
Teachers, educators, facilitators or anyone that wishes to learn more about refugees can use these materials produced by Amnesty International and other organizations.