School Impact Program
The School Impact Program seeks to bridge the gap between school and refugee communities by focusing on improved communication and cultural understanding.
We do this primarily through Cultural Exchanges, workshops for K-12 faculty and staff featuring speakers from countries with vibrant or growing communities here in Tennessee. The speakers share aspects of their culture and experience, and discuss how these might affect a child’s educational experience in a U.S. school. Workshops are held at no cost to schools or participants, and address the issues or concerns most relevant to each school’s diverse learner population. NICE will host these Cultural Exchanges at the school, unless another location is better suited. Workshops can last from 45 minutes up to two hours, in accordance with the time available.
We provide speakers from a variety of countries, including:
Culture Exchange workshops cover such topics as:
- Why and how this population is being resettled in Nashville
- Life in a refugee camp
- Cultural background in terms of religion, gender, or family dynamics
- Language background, especially as it relates to learning English
- Names and nicknames
- Teaching methods that students are likely to have experienced
- Discipline practices and expectations in native cultures
- The roles and responsibilities that parents or children might expect of the school and of themselves
School staff will also have the opportunity to ask questions addressing topics not covered in the presentation. Cultural Exchanges are meant to create an open discussion between cultural representatives and school personnel.