TCS sixth graders had a very memorable first two weeks of school!
Through “A Place of Refuge,” the class’ project-based learning (PBL) unit, students are learning about issues facing refugees and more about the refugee movement, including push and pull factors, effects, organizations that help refugees in Atlanta and solutions for it.
On the second day of school, the sixth graders traveled to New American Pathways, a non-profit that focuses on jobs, education, cultural integration, individual and female empowerment for refugees where, as part of a simulation, they experienced some of the barriers refugees face when they enter the country.
Early last week, TCS sixth graders headed to the Clarkston Community Center where they worked in the Clarkston Community Garden and learned about the community center’s mission: to meet the many needs that are related to the city’s demographics, density and low-income status through a strategic focus on community building to bring together refugee and non-refugee populations.
The students also visited International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees survive, recover and gain control of their futures, last week where they helped teach English to refugees; cared for the young children of the refugees attending the English and civics classes; and sort and organize items in the Refugee Resettlement Shop.
The students also had lunch with Ted Terry, the mayor of Clarkston, and learned more about the ins and outs of leading a town that is often referred to as “the most diverse square mile in America” and “the Ellis Island of the South.”
They ended the week with a visit from Carmen Deedy, an internationally known, award-winning children’s literature author, storyteller, radio contributor and Cuban refugee. She shared her story about fleeing Cuba and growing up in Decatur, GA as a refugee.
These first two weeks in sixth grade have definitely made an impression on the students! As one sixth grader said after helping a refugee learn English, “I’ve never experienced something like this in my life. I’ve been at The Children’s School for a long time, and this is the best experience I’ve had here.”