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Places of Refuge

‘All of their stories come together’

In a school district that is home to many not born in the U.S., seventh graders dive deep into learning about and welcoming newcomers from all over the world...

Walking through the ‘door of opportunity’

Wyoming high school students Mounahinde (Terry) Almame and Rohim Mohammed visited Lisa Monroe and Jodi VanDam’s fifth-grade class to talk about their experiences as refugees...

Two classes, two ways to learn about refugees

Students at Cherry Creek Elementary and Lowell Middle School are giving thought to what it means to have to leave home and make a new one, thousands of miles away...

Giving back as others gave to them

Three sisters, refugees from Rwanda, devote their Monday evenings to volunteering at the Learning Café, an education center in Grand Rapids that serves refugee children...

Students help refugee peers adjust to life, schools in the U.S.

Students from a handful of area high schools are making an impact at two West Michigan organizations tasked with helping refugee students and their families succeed...

Refugee author tells students, ‘It is the story of your community’

Sandra Uwiringiyimana’s story of fleeing conflict and leaving her country behind resonated with students who read and discussed her book, “How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child.”

‘If I Can Do it, You Can Do It’

Dressed in red, resemblant of flaming hot sauce, Bowen Elementary fifth-grader Yoe Shi Yar played David Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant who founded Huy Fong...

‘The Goal is to Keep Them Reading’

Second-graders Leonel Santiago and Carlos Saldana hit an exciting benchmark this fall: They started reading their first chapter books.Besides helping them learn the important...

Thanks to English Tutoring, ‘I Can Learn a Lot of Things’

Rose Sanreta had had a big day at Northview High School: a test in finance class, a quiz in English, reviewing World History for...

Building a Dream Into Reality

I see the horror figures portrayed in the media. I flinch and glower at the images of helpless people, abandoned and alone, drowning in...

Language, Culture and ‘Jambo!’

Sixth grade teacher Rebecca Bing remembers a particularly tough day at school. She walked down the hall, feeling a little tired and pensive. Suddenly,...

From Desperation to Diploma: A Somali Refugee’s Story

Note from the author: I met Arafat Abdikarim Yassin last February while visiting East Kentwood High School to write about the school's refugee population....

She Walks in Their Shoes to Understand Their Challenges

At Bowen Elementary School, English Learner teacher Katie Lett's students recently filled out "All About Me" forms. Soon they would write details about themselves...

Welcoming Our Newest, Most Vulnerable Students, Families

Tula Khadka remembers what it was like all too well. Arriving in West Michigan from Nepal in 2013, he didn’t know much English or...

“Am I in America, Really?” Refugee Students Leave Terror Behind, Look to Future

Gloria Tungabose's eyes flash as she tells of her father, killed in Burundi. Her mother's ethnicity was Tutsi and her father's was Hutu, and...

Student Braves ‘Train of Death’ to Come to U.S., Go to School

Kenia's story of her journey to the U.S. comes through the fuzzy lens of a child's memory. She's uncertain how long she traveled or...
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