Although a few foreign refugees come from cities where they had sophisticated education opportunities, many lived in remote areas where there were no schools, or in refugee camps where they may have received sporadic education.
Most are immersed in an irrelevant environment when they come here -- obstacles like speaking English, taking the bus, even learning to work in an American kitchen can be challenging.
Of the more than 10,000 refugees living in San Antonio, 80 percent are women and children and the high influx of students presents unique challenges for educators.
In the third part of her series, "The Refugee Story: Building New Lives," TPR’s Eileen Pace examines the dynamics of teaching a large population of students who arrive in the U.S. with diverse languages and skills.
“Yes, Barack will do that last one,” Colonies North Elementary teacher Sara Aguirre tells her students as she points to a classroom exercise on nouns and verbs.
This week our reporter Eileen Pace has brought you several stories on the refugee community here in San Antonio. From their resettlement to building new lives, to their children going to school, she has mapped what the experience is for people who leave war-torn countries for the promise of something better. Pace joins us along with District 8 council member Ron Nirenberg and Northside Independent School District officials to talk about the institutions helping them.
Colonies North Elementary teacher Patti Enriquez guides her Kindergarten and 1st grade "Newcomer Class" in learning the days of the week in English. Colonies North is NISD's target school for young refugee students.
CORRECTION, 12/19/13: The stricken statement below regarding Texas's ranking among states that take in refugees is incorrect.
Texas is home to more refugees from strife-torn countries than any other state, and San Antonio takes in more than any other city in Texas. TPR's Eileen Pace examines the scope of the refugee influx to our city, and the ways San Antonio manages the new populations in our series, “The Refugee Story: Building New Lives.”
Fronteras: Gay and lesbian activists are fighting to be included as U.S. immigration reform takes shape. The new Somali president has called for Somali refugees in the U.S. to return to their homeland and help rebuild the nation. Will young Somalis heed his call? We look at a new university housing model in New Mexico for student veterans. Also, we get the scoop on this year's CineFestival, which spotlights Latino films in San Antonio.