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.
NICE’s after-school youth 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.
The summer school program provides elementary and middle school students with tools to increase academic skills through social and academic problem-solving activities. Skills acquired within summer programming are essential to middle school development as it assists English Language Learners to become part of the overall population at an earlier age. Enrollments in the summer program afford students a year-round opportunity to receive English tutoring and academic assistance thereby raising improving the likelihood of high school graduation and college attendance.