In the past year alone 76,000 refugees fled persecution or threat of persecution in their home countries and were admitted to the U.S. It is estimated that about 45% of the world’s refugees are under the age of 18. This means that every year a significant number of child refugees are entering America’s school system.

Can you imagine leaving your home to a new country as a young child?  The jump from elementary school to middle school is nerve wracking enough as a kid, but throw in a shift to an entirely different culture and language you’ve got bigger obstacles to overcome.

This is where the International Rescue Committee Summer Program comes in. The International Rescue Committee is an organization helping refugees in America start their new lives in the U.S. by ensuring that they receive food, housing, English language classes, and other services and resources that will help them prosper. They also make sure their children get educational opportunities. The International Rescue Committee Summer Program, helped funded by Refugee School Impact Grant, has taken leadership in this sector, recognizing that newly arrived refugee children can benefit significantly with a warm welcome into America’s education system prior to the start of school.

The committee believes that a jump-start on an understanding of how a typical American school day goes will help lie a foundation down for successful learning and make the transition a lot smoother. Through fun learning activities and games, the program helps these children gain knowledge of the basic school norms and practices in America such as raising your hand to speak in class and lining up for lunch. They also learn how a classroom operates and how to navigate the school itself.

The International Rescue Committee Summer Program is helping to make the adjustment into the American school system for refugee children as smooth and comfortable as possible. By doing so, they are helping these children get the best start that they can for their education.