As Afghan refugees prepare to resettle in cities like Chicago, there’s a call for tutors to help educate young refugee students, some of whom have missed years of school.
Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA) is looking for volunteer tutors to help educate the expected influx of refugees due to the crisis in Afghanistan.
Kathleen O’Connor, director of education and curriculum, says tutors will spend up to 10 hours a week with refugee students, focusing on math and reading skills.
“For most of our students, they have not been allowed to attend school. They arrive here and they need to catch up,” said O’Connor. “Refugee students come to the United States and are placed in grade levels based on their age, not their level of learning.”
It’s more than numbers and words.
Many refugees are dealing with trauma from past experiences. These tutors become mentors for students trying to navigate a new culture in America.
Simran Arora, a volunteer tutor, has been teaching refugees for two months.
“Seeing Muslim women as educated and as educators has such an impact on them,” said Arora. “For the students to be able to build a one-on-one relationship with a tutor they see every day has an incredible impact when they struggle with bullying, making new friends, PTSD [and] anxiety.”
FORA tutors help students through college.
O'Conner says anyone can apply to be a tutor, if they have the time. Virtual opportunities are available.
For more information on volunteer opportunities with FORA, click here.