Hundreds of school-aged refugee children are enrolled in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS). These children come not just with language barriers, but also with fractured or non-existent educational histories, acculturation issues, and repercussions of past trauma. These factors create a high-risk environment for dropping out of school within the first few months after arrival in the U.S., particularly for those who arrive in grades nine through 12.
Lutheran Social Services’ youth program has been helping refugee youth since 2000. Our caring and dedicated youth staff provides them with intensive tutoring in speaking, reading and writing English, as well as math. LSS staff also helps both children and their parents to navigate the American school system–no easy feat when you don’t speak the language and, for some, have never before set foot in a classroom.
When these kids are supported, 99 percent stay in school.
LSS needs YOU to help us save this unique and remarkable program–the only one of its kind in Northeast Florida. The organization recently lost a long-time state-funded grant it has used to operate its youth refugee program here in Jacksonville. The agency has no hope of reclaiming this grant until January 2017, which means it needs to raise the money on its own to fund the program from now through December.
The first fundraising benchmark of $50,000 must be raised by June 30, 2016, in order to keep the teachers and program in place. Please donate today, and help us show these kids that #WeUnderstand!