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Family Literacy Program
For refugee families from Burma, there is a need to have a program that serves both parents and preschool-aged children. Lack of childcare resources prevents many refugees from attending classes and workshops, and many families involved in CRB programs have young children. CRB's Family Literacy program is designed to address main educational barriers affecting both recently arrived refugee adults and their preschool aged children. In this program, preschool-age children receive early childhood education and school-readiness instruction, while their parents receive ESL instruction. This class meets three times a week in Kent, WA. Mondays and Wednesdays are dedicated to classroom instruction. On Fridays, parents learn about child development, school readiness, and navigating the school systems.
CRB works with both Seattle and Kent Public School Districts to provide targeted, individualized educational programming to recently arrived refugee students and their families. In 2012, the Seattle Youth Program added two new projects: the Seattle Summer School pilot for K-8, and an in-home tutoring program for K-12. CRB also provides educational workshops for parents to strengthen their parenting skills in advocating for their children's education. For the Kent Youth Program, CRB works closely with the Kent School District to provide after-school programming to build students' writing and reading comprehension skills. CRB also provides a series of workshops regarding high school graduation programs, high school completion program options, and the transition to college.
New Life Literacy Program
The "New Life" Literacy Program is designed for adult ESL students who have limited experience with formal education. It is an introduction to learning English in a formal classroom setting, where students learn speaking and listening skills first, before moving on to the building blocks of reading and writing. This program was created in 2011, based on an identified need in the refugee community for pre-level 1 English language support. Lack of classroom experience make it difficult for refugee students to adapt to the ESL systems available to them once they arrive. The goal is to help adult refugee students to bridge the knowledge gap so they may be successful in a Level 1 ESL program.
Refugee to Advocate (R2A) is a series of workshops which provide community members with information and training about refugee resettlement issues in for supporting their newly arrived community members. The idea is to train “community helpers” (CHs) - natural leaders in their own communities - on a range of resettlement topics. CHs then use the knowledge and resources provided by the program to train members of their cultural and linguistic communities. CRB uses this novel, "train-the-trainer" approach, to disseminate information to community helpers from both various ethnic communities of Burma, and to Bhutanese community leaders, and they, in turn, trained their community members in their own languages.
Parent Education Program
CRB provides educational workshops for refugees covering parent engagement topics such as accessing school district information, monitoring a student’s academic performance through the district’s online grade system, contacting teachers and school administrators, and advocating for student rights and responsibilities.
The Technology Program provides computer literacy trainings. Adult and youth refugees from Burma learn how to explore the internet, use Microsoft Word other applications, and they are also assisted to find different resources through the internet.