Entering a new country is a daunting experience. One of the top concerns for refugee and immigrant families is ensuring their children receive a good education. Education experts know that for many students, a successful education starts at home.
Sioux Empire United Way partners with the Refugee and Immigrant Academic Achievement Resources program through Sioux Falls School District. Sioux Empire United Way funds support both School Home Liaisons, as well as academic support and tutoring for high school aged students.
School Home Liaisons provide a unique and important link between students and families that have limited English skills. Liaisons assist with issues relative to school enrollment, attendance, tardiness, mental and physical health, and expectations for success in school. School Home Liaisons play an important role in helping refugee and immigrant families establish routines that lead to regular school attendance, helping families schedule appointments so that students are out of school for as little time as possible.
T-Time supports English Language Learner students in their ability to earn credits towards graduation. After-school tutoring services are providing four days per week at all Sioux Falls School District high schools.
“Last year during my sophomore year, I struggled so much with my algebra. I was behind on most of my assignments. Until one of my teachers told me about a program called T-time that it was going to be after school. There was going to be a science, math, and social studies teacher helping us. So I decided to try it out and stay after school. The first day that I stayed I got so many assignments done! One of the math teachers was so helpful and very nice, she explained everything and and helped me a lot. The teachers were very helpful, not only to me but to the other kids that decided to stay. It helps many students who tend to struggle with their classes.” – Academic Achievement participant
Last year, 2,710 students and their families were served through the school district’s efforts and 96% met or exceeded district average attendance rates.