Fairfield's Writing Project Awarded $20,000 to Support Refugee Children
On May 3, 2017, IMPACT Fairfield, a women’s collective that gives to organizations impacting Fairfield County, awarded the International Institute of Connecticut and a collaboration with Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall, Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University, Bridgeport Public Schools, and Ubuntu Academy a $20,000 grant for their proposal, “Refugee Children and Youth: Learning Enrichment and Academic Preparedness.”
“This grant will enable us to unite our individual efforts—IIConn’s refugee integration work, Bassick High School’s ESL classroom, CWP’s Ubuntu Academy, and the CFPL’s Refugee Mentoring program—to create a holistic, 12-month program to support refugee youth academically and socially,” stated Melissa Quan, director of the Center for Faith and Public Life.
The project will expand on the Ubuntu Academy, a summer literacy lab hosted by the Connecticut Writing Project, and the Refugee Youth Mentoring Program through Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life. The expanded initiative has three goals: prepare refugee children and youth for academic success and sustain positive development in school; support the parents of refugee children to learn how to navigate the school system and to effectively support their children’s education; and increase the public school educators’ understanding of refugees and the multi-dimensional struggles their students carry with them.
Quan continues, “supporting the integration of refugee youth is critical to their success and the well-being of our communities overall and it resonates with the Jesuit Mission to care for the whole person.”
Pictured (Left to Right): William King, ESL teacher, Bridgeport Public Schools, Claudia Connor, president and CEO, IICONN, Esther Kamengele, Bridgeport Public School student, and Dr. Bryan Crandall, assistant professor of the Practice of Curriculum & Instruction and director of the Connecticut Writing Project.