Youth Outreach & Education Specialist: Sarah Russ (email@example.com)
Adult Education Programs
NICE’s classes are available to refugees and immigrants residing in the Middle Tennessee area; however, some programs and classes have restrictions due to grant stipulations. With the exception of Citizenship Preparation Classes, all classes are offered on a six month term. All students enrolled in classes at NICE, including new and returning students, are required to pay the registration fee prior to being enrolled in classes. The current registration fee is $20.00 (subject to change). Students enrolled in ELL classes are required to purchase the textbook either through NICE or another vendor. Registration typically takes place at the beginning of each term (December/January and June/July) and will continue until classes are full or at the discretion of the program coordinator. Due to the demand for services, we are not able to hold spaces for students and have firm policies on attendance; however, we try our best to serve all those who come through our doors.
NICE offers ELL classes at six different levels ranging from beginning literacy to high intermediate. We utilize the Ventures Series by Cambridge University Press as well as a wide range of materials used by teachers in the classrooms. Classes are offered during morning and evening hours at NICE and during the morning hours at the Donelson Fellowship Church. Our classes are taught by dedicated volunteers from NICE’s community of support. Students come from all walks of life with specific English proficiency skills, and our curriculum focuses on addressing a wide variety of needs, including reading, writing, speaking, and life skills.
NICE also offers a Job Readiness class for clients registered in our employment program. This class targets specific workplace English for those who are planning to enter the workforce or need to strengthen their English proficiency in order to stay employed.
Citizenship Preparation Classes
NICE offers Citizenship Preparation classes three times a week. These classes are taught by a dedicated group of volunteers that provide group instruction and one-on-one tutoring when needed. Classes focus on teaching students the exact information they need to know in order to successfully pass the US Citizenship exam.
GED Preparation Classes
GED Prep classes will re-start soon. Students learn about Language Arts (reading and writing), Social Studies, Science, and Math from volunteer teachers. Many students in NICE’s GED program are non-native speakers who face the challenge of language barriers and adapting to a different educational system. Classes are focused on increasing and improving students’ skills in order for them to be able to advance far enough to pass the GED exam.
With new refugees being resettled in or migrating to Davidson and Rutherford Counties, many schools find they have new students they are not fully prepared to support. In addition, many refugee children and families are not familiar with the education system in the U.S. and experience difficulty navigating their way through the system or understanding expectations of the school. The goal of the Culture Exchange Series (CE) is to provide school personnel in Davidson and Rutherford Counties with information they need to better serve and relate to their refugee students and families. We do this primarily by providing workshops that are tailored to the needs of the school. During these workshops, we contract with representatives from specific refugee communities to educate school personnel on their culture and refugee life.
The Afterschool/Summer Program targets elementary, middle, and high school students in Davidson County and provides programming to help these students improve their academic performance. Youth program staff work closely with school personnel to target student needs. The purpose of this program is to promote English language learning and academic skills for youth who have had limited or interrupted access to education. We provide a safe space for immigrant and refugee youth in an atmosphere where their individual abilities are recognized and celebrated. We strive to empower and develop confidence in immigrant youth who may feel caught between two worlds. Our program will empower youth to become leaders in their community, not because they are forced into greater responsibility at an early age, but because they want to advocate for themselves and others.
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