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Half of refugees worldwide are children. Many arrive in the United States with gaps in their education or no previous formal schooling. Language barriers, cultural differences, and miscommunication can often frustrate students and teachers. Parents may feel disconnected from their child’s education because of a lack of English skills or knowledge of the school system. Refugee children and youth may also feel socially isolated from American students and other immigrant youth.
The goal of KRM’s Family and Youth Services is to provide ongoing academic and school support services, connecting refugee students and their parents with schools, service providers, and the Louisville and Lexington communities. Through each of these program initiatives, families receive extended support, and, as a result, are empowered to succeed and encouraged toward greater self-sufficiency and parental engagement.
Family and Youth Services in Louisville and Lexington include:
- School registration in Jefferson County Public Schools and Fayette County Public Schools
- Orientations for parents and students
- Partnering with schools and teachers for parent-teacher conferences, student support, and family resources
- Tutoring/mentoring for children in need of academic and social support
- Out of school time programming
Specialized Family & Youth programs include:
Family Center (Louisville)
An educational program for recently-arrived refugee mothers and their children (ages 0-5 years old), the KRM Family Center has operated in Louisville since 2006. Three days each week, participants engage in the following program activities:
- English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
- Cultural Orientation
- Job Readiness
- Art therapy
- Microenterprise and skills training
- School readiness and parenting orientations
- The Family Center Grow Program: Age-specific childcare and early childhood readiness
- Learning the basic educational building blocks that lead to success in schools, through a comprehensive preschool curriculum designed to meet the needs of early English Language Learners.
- Daily instruction that incorporates language development, reading, music, coloring, learning letters and numbers, and group play
- Families with young children also receive assistance with childcare needs and support in registering for Jefferson County Public Schools’ Early Childhood Education Programs.
New Beginnings Tutoring/Mentoring Program (Louisville)
The New Beginnings Tutoring/ Mentoring Program was created in 2008 to meet the needs of elementary through high school students and their families. Services include:
- Weekly, after-school meetings with trained volunteer tutor/mentors
- Program support focused on literacy attainment, homework help, and guidance on social adjustment
- Parental engagement in tutor-mentor sessions
- Educational field trips and opportunities for civic engagement
Super Saturday College & Career Readiness Program (Louisville)
For many KRM families, their child is a first-generation high school graduate. Through strong community partnerships, the Super Saturday Program was launched in 2014 to help families navigate the higher education system. Services include:
- Monthly college and university campus tours
- College and career readiness workshops
- Application assistance for college admission, financial aid, and scholarships
- Opportunities for civic engagement
Rise Up Educational Access Program (Louisville)
Young adults ages 18- to 25-years-old arrive with varying educational backgrounds. While they often must go to work to support their families’ financial success, they seek guidance and support from KRM on advancing their education and their careers. The Rise Up Program began in Louisville in 2014 in response to client need for educational support. Services include:
- College and University Visits
- Mentoring Program
- High School diploma and GED support
- College application and scholarship support
- Financial aid guidance
- College and career readiness workshops
Teen World of Work (Lexington)
High school students are often eager to work during summer break as an opportunity to gain experience and continue practicing English outside of school. Workshops offer the following support:
- Resume writing
- Completing written and online job applications
- Mock interviews
- Job basics, such as availability, scheduling, W2 forms, and requesting days off
- Ongoing support and job placement
Refugee Children’s Choir (Lexington)
The Refugee Children’s Choir is in its fourth year of operation in Lexington. The choir offers newly arrived school-age refugee children an opportunity to participate in a group throughout the year that embraces and celebrates their unique identities while they learn music theory and performance skills.
- Weekly rehearsals learning music theory
- Learning and utilizing percussion instruments while singing
- English language skills
- Performances across the Lexington community
To contact KRM’s Family & Youth Services program staff, please see the staff page.