Refugee School Impact Program (RSIP)
The RSIP bridges the cultural and linguistic gap that exists between refugee families and schools and to provide children with academic and social supports to aid in the promotion of success. The Refugee School Impact Program is designed to ease the transition of refugee children into the Buffalo Public School system and to empower parents to be effective partners in the education of their children.
Who is eligible?
The RSIP provides services to refugee students in Buffalo Public Schools, grades K-12, and their families.
Our multilingual academic coaches provide a wide range of services to refugee students, their parents and schools. These services include mentoring, advocacy, counseling, tutoring, problem solving, mediation, in-class support assistance, parent-teacher conferences, homework assistance and crisis intervention.
Translation and Interpretation
Our academic coaches can meet your translation needs for various languages, including Arabic, Burmese, Dinka, Karen, Mai-Mai, Somali, Swahili and Thai.
- Welcome To Our Schools Family Orientation
- A monthly meeting aimed at parents whose children have just entered school (Grades K-12), to learn about the American school system and to have their questions answered by our academic coaches and program staff.
- Cross-Cultural Seminar for Schools
- A free training session provided to schools and administrators who would like to learn more about refugee issues and how to better accommodate their needs.
Making A Connection Program
Making a Connection (MAC) is an educational readiness program designed specifically to address the unique needs of mature refugee ELL students in Buffalo, New York. MAC offers an alternative option to achieving one’s educational, vocational and employment goals through classroom instruction, ESL classes, employment training, internship placements and community service opportunities. Individualized services are provided according to the student’s interests, skills, learning styles, English language abilities and personal goals. Certified teachers and translators, in a positive and encouraging environment, deliver instruction and transitional support services. Students are provided with opportunities to build their skills and set their own goals while receiving practical employment experience and preparation for continued education (GED, Vocational Education, College Prep) Prior to program completion students and staff design individualized Transition Plans, outlining goals and steps needed to become a productive and active member of their community.
Eligibility: Refugee, Asylee or Cuban/Haitian entrant – ages 17-21
Monday –Thursday 8:30am – 2:00pm
MAC Program follows BPS district calendar for holidays and closed days
Individual Connection Plan
Preparation for GED program
Employment and vocational readiness training
Community connection and service opportunities
Free breakfast and lunch
Monthly field trips
A four-week program runs during the summer months to help orientate newly arrived students to the American school system. The program focuses on English language acquisition, classroom orientation and introduction to American curriculum, schedules, and activities. The program is run in conjunction with the Buffalo Public Schools Jumpstart Program and also in partnership with WNY Americorps and Houghton College.
Let's Go to the Library
A library-based education program for refugee students and their families. Community volunteers and refugee families come together on Saturday afternoons at the Niagara Branch Library to work on a number of different educational and recreational activities. Families are able to connect to positive role models in their community while practicing English and learning more about the educational resources that exist in their community. For more information please Send Email.
Green Thumb Goalies
A program in collaboration with the Asarese Matters Youth Center. Young soccer players, ages 8 to 16, come together with local volunteers on Friday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. to develop their skills on the soccer field and in the new community garden at the Asarese. This program promotes healthy eating and exercise and operates throughout the school year.
The Math Enrichment Spring Break Workshop
The workshop is held over the districts spring break vacation. Students in grades 3-12 are assessed and placed in groups according to their math abilities. Small group instruction is provided by program staff. The workshop serves up to 90 students.
“Kid’s Talk” is an inspiring educational outreach program designed to increase community awareness of refugee experience including conditions in their home countries and the resettlement process spoken through the personal experiences of children. Kid’s Talk Presentations take place in community schools with an increasing population of refugee and immigrant students, suburban school districts, local universities and colleges, community agencies and civic clubs. Kid’s Talk has raised awareness about refugees in the community, helped communities better understand who refugees are and what they mean for the future of Buffalo, breakdown stereo types, and increase the self esteem of refugee children who participate and their families. The program is a volunteer effort with donated time of the refugee children and their families and the staff of Journey’s End Refugee Services. Kid’s Talk is one of very few outreach programs in the Buffalo area educating the community about the refugee communities in Buffalo, and the only one that allows children to tell their own stories.
Kid’s Talk has also had a significant impact in schools, and community organizations outside of the city of Buffalo. In many of our suburban communities there is limited diversity, and little exposure to other ethnic groups including refugees. For many of the children in these schools, refugees are abstract concepts more deserving of pity than understanding. Many of these children are surprised to meet children, who share much in common with them, but also have a poise and confidence that is uncommon for elementary aged students. What has resulted are many initiatives to promote cross cultural understanding and in one case the development of a curriculum educating students about refugees both in the camp and here in our community. For more information call 716-882-4963 x219 or email Send Email