Latest News

Women’s Education Club at UC Davis Has Launched!

Announcing the Women’s Education Club at UC Davis! I am excited to share with you news about the Women’s Education Club at UC Davis! This club was created to provide academic opportunities to women in areas of educational poverty with a primary focus on women living in the Middle East. Walid Hekmatjo is serving as President of this club with Avery Yue as its formal advisor and Willow Way Tutoring providing logistical and financial support.To date, Walid has signed-up over 150(!!) women in the Middle East to work with more than 15 female tutors from UC Davis. With private grants, we have provided over 25 technology scholarships for women unable to access Zoom lessons otherwise. We couldn't be more excited about this work!

It’s a New School Year!

Fall has rolled around again, and WWTE is excited about the new school year. We couldn’t be more excited to have started the 2023-2024 school year and get working with our fantastic students and tutors. We want to wish a huge welcome to our new tutors, and a gigantic welcome back to those returning! We can't wait to start working with you over this new school year, and seeing all the amazing things we can do together!

We are also super excited to wish a welcome back to our returning students from the 2022-2023 school years from the San Juan, Twin Rivers, and Elk Grove Unified School Districts. In particular, we want to say hello to the elementary and middle school students, who we are so happy to increase our work with! We are also proud to share that WWTE is now serving 300+ schools. We're looking forward to working with all of you in the upcoming school year, and we can't wait to get started!

So to everyone, students, tutors, returning and new, welcome!! We are so delighted to have you, and we look forward to working with you! See you on Zoom!!

We're super excited to note the return of popular programs and the launch of new sessions! On top of scheduled multilingual tutoring, drop-in programs, and online hangouts, we are also launching three new programs this school year!

Starting this year, we will be piloting a program where we provide sessions dedicated to assisting newcomers who are currently classified as level 3 or 4 by their ELPAC scores reach level 4 in order to be reclassified as no longer an ESL student, but a student who is fluent in English. Reclassification is an awesome milestone to achieve and an essential step to school success. We are also piloting a “Buddy” program where we pair students who have been enrolled in a US school for 3+ years with a newcomer student who has been in a US school for less than 1 year. We hope in this program to promote mentoring and support that is encouraged and supervised by our tutors, some of which will become older buddies themselves. Finally, we are expanding our AP Review Sessions to start in early and meet twice each week. These sessions will continue to be taught by tutors who earned a 5 on the exam themselves and will continue to be free, with priority given to students who attend Title 1 schools.

It’s going to be a great year and is already off to a great start!

Are you a top student who is bilingual?! We’re hiring!

WWTE has grown! Spots to work with us are usually extremely limited each year as most of our tutors return to work with us (thank you! We love our tutors!) But we’ve grown substantially this year and could use your help! We’re hiring new bilingual tutors for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. If you’re interested, submit your application here and we’ll reach out to interview you! While most of our tutors volunteer, we do pay $15 per hour for advanced tutors who are fluent in at least one of the following languages: Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, and/or Spanish. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to our President, Avery Yue at avery at wwtutoring dot club. We can't wait to hear from you!

Willow Way Provided its 1,000th Sports Physical!

In August we were once again happy to provide sports physicals to students across San Juan Unified School District. This time, we provided physicals in the gymnasium of Mira Loma High School. This is our 3rd year bringing sports physicals to students who lack access to them. A huge shout out of thanks to Drs. David Telander, Eric Yue, and Nancy Smith, our team of volunteer assistants from Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment, and the Vice Principals and Principal at Mira Loma High School. Working together as a team, we were able to conduct over 300 sports physicals. An additional thanks to the coaches at Mira Loma High School who then helped upload the completed physicals into the district’s system.

Altogether, WWTE has now provided over 1,200 free sports physicals! We love this program and will offer it next in January, 2024, at SJUSD as well as at TRUSD.

Access to after school programs is so essential for students and we love being able to do something for the hundreds of students who want to participate, but can’t just because they cannot access a sports physical. Sports do not just promote better physical health, they also enable students to develop team building skills, create friendships, and experience a feeling of belonging and connection to their school, which are all incredibly important for mental health and future success.

See you all in for our Spring Sports Physicals!

Willow Way Proudly Announces Publication of Welcome! The Friends’ Guide to New School Success and Its 10,000th Book Sold!

WWTE is excited to announce the publication of Welcome! The Friends' Guide to New School Success, thanks to the generous support of the James B. McClatchy Foundation. Using an evidence-based approach and the author’s experience personally providing over 1,000 hours of tutoring to newcomer students, The Friends' Guide contains the most essential information teens need for success at school, from teens themselves. The book includes encouraging messages and advice from older students, as well as vital tips on how to succeed in the American school system. We were privileged to work with professionals to translate The Friend’s Guide into eight languages—English, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Arabic.

This August, schools from across California purchased paperback copies so that newcomer students could have a copy of The Friends’ Guide in their home language when starting classes this Fall.

Today marks the 10,000th book sold!

We are so grateful for the support, endorsement, and trust of these schools. But even more importantly, we're grateful for the enthusiasm of our students, who provided insight, suggestions, and encouragement throughout the writing and editing process. Truly, we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you!

Willow Way’s Community Impact Recognized

We are pleased to share that in recognition of commitment and outstanding work to the students of San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD) during the 2022-2023 academic year, we have been (yet again!) honored with the prestigious SJUSD's Most Valued Partner award. In the past school year, we collectively provided over 5,000 hours of support across 68 schools. We worked with teachers, parents, and school district leaders to provide the best support possible to each student in our care. We continued previously successful initiatives (multilingual tutoring, “Hangouts”, park days, AP Test prep, etc) as well as provided new ones (Writing Circles).

Additionally, we received a Congressional Commendation from U.S. Congressman Ami Berra, marking our second such commendation for our work supporting refugee and immigrant students in our community. Dr. Berra noted our unwavering dedication to educational equity and community outreach.

We extend congratulations to President Avery Yue, our diligent tutors, and our collaborators within the SJUSD. Together we improved academic achievement and fostered a supportive and inclusive educational environment.

We also extend congratulations to our students whose boundless enthusiasm and commitment to learning continually inspires. This recognition belongs as much to them as it does to us!

Willow Way Tutoring Proudly Celebrates Nessar Hekmatjo's Daily Point of Light Award

We are excited to share that Nessar Hekmatjo, the rising President of Willow Way Tutoring and Enrichment, has been honored with the Daily Point of Light Award for his remarkable contributions to our community. This award, established by President George H. W. Bush, recognizes exceptional volunteers who drive meaningful change.

Nessar's journey to the United States from Afghanistan in 2017 was challenging, marked by significant language barriers and cultural adjustments. His personal experience fueled his passion for helping newcomer students navigate the complexities of the U.S. education system. Today, Nessar is not only pursuing a nursing degree with aspirations to become a surgeon, but he also dedicates his time to tutoring students in various subjects, including math, English, science, and biology.

At Willow Way Tutoring, Nessar plays a crucial role in assisting middle and high school students, often communicating in Dari, Farsi, and Pashto to bridge language gaps. His efforts extend beyond tutoring, as he mentors other multilingual tutors and compiles progress reports for teachers and parents. His impact is evident in the success of his students, many of whom have progressed to college and even joined our tutoring team.

Nessar's story is a powerful testament to the transformative effect of perseverance and compassion. His commitment to educational excellence and community service embodies the spirit of Willow Way Tutoring. We congratulate Nessar on this prestigious accolade and thank him for his unwavering dedication to enriching the lives of students and fostering a supportive, inclusive learning environment.

For more details about Nessar's inspiring journey and his work at Willow Way Tutoring and in our community, please visit here for further details.

Year #3 is a wrap!

Our third full year serving students is a wrap! June is a bittersweet month for us at WWT&E! On one hand, we are so sad to end the tutoring season and say goodbye to all of the incredible students we've met over the school year. On the other hand, we get to look back at the work we've done together and see the amazing progress made and friendships formed. For the 2022-23 school year, we broke our previous record by providing over 5K hours of tutoring across three school districts! We also launched Newcomer Writing Circles, the Willow Way Bilingual Audio/Video Library, and led AP Exam Study Groups. Next year, we look forward to even more great work from our tutors, translators, and students, and expanding into new school districts. Thank you so much to all of our fantastic tutors and translators, our students, our school district leaders. See you next year!

AP Study Sessions!

In May, we expanded our AP Test Prep study sessions to reach students across the entire San Juan Unified School District. Any SJUSD student could sign up for one of AP Exam study groups covering fifteen tests, each led by one of our amazing tutors who each earned fives themselves in the exam. We worked with students from April 15th to May 7th, discussing exam strategies, working through practice tests and essays, reviewing content, and providing support. These sessions were a big hit with our students who asked that we offer more of them, starting in March 2023. We will definitely do that, so be on the lookout for them. We look forward to seeing these smart, dedicated students in future programs, and seeing where they go next!

WWTE Writing Contest!

WWTE is proud to announce our launch of a creative writing contest from ELL students. We invite newcomers to showcase their talent by submitting original poetry, short stories, and flash fiction pieces. The contest not only offers an opportunity for students to share their creativity with us (we can’t wait to read your work!) but also a chance to win $250. Ten finalists will be selected by a panel of student writers from Iowa Young Writers Workshop and will have their work published in and receive a copy of WWTE's annual anthology. A single winner will be selected from the group of finalists and will receive an additional award of $250. This contest is a way to celebrate storytelling, creativity and uplift youth voices. We invite all students to submit a piece of writing and discovering and celebrating new talents.

Rising President Selected!

We are proud to announce that Nessar Hekmatjo has been selected as Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment’s Rising President. Nessar joined us in June of 2020 as a Dari, Farsi, and Pashto translator, but very quickly moved into a dual tutor- translator role to work with students directly. Further illustrating his commitment to our cause, Nessar launched our junior translator program in 2021, extending his contribution to extend our multilingual capabilities. While currently pursuing a career in medicine at Sac State, Nessar continues to lend his time and expertise to WWT&E. His dedication, despite his busy schedule, is a testament to his commitment to supporting students. He is an invaluable tutor and leader both in working with students and in managing WWT&E itself. Nessar makes a tangible difference in the lives of our students and continues to impress us with his leadership capabilities and drive to support and uplift those around him. A big thank you from WWT&E for the work you've done, Nessar! We look forward to your continued support in shaping the future of our organization and our students. Nessar will serve as President of WWTE in 2024.

Newcomer Writing Circles Launched!

WWT&E is thrilled to announce our Writing Circles have launched! Students can now participate in online creative writing circles under the guidance of one of our award winning teen writers. These circles provide a nurturing space for students to explore and expand their writing abilities and, for those interested, provide an opportunity to share their writing with others by submitting their work to contests and publications. This mentorship offers a valuable opportunity for students to gain firsthand knowledge of the publishing process as well as for the world to benefit from hearing these original voices and talented writers.

Lifting Newcomer Voices

Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment is excited to announce our launch of initiatives aimed at promoting creative writing skills in students and sharing their voices, perspectives, thoughts, and dreams with the world. Leading these events is published novelist and Scholastic's national gold medal winner, Avery Yue. Avery’s “Meet the Writer” sessions across three school districts in northern California provide students with accessible insights into the writing process and encouragement for their own writing. In addition, students with WWTE can now participate in online creative writing circles under Avery's guidance. These circles provide a nurturing space for students to explore and expand their writing abilities and, for those interested, provide an opportunity to share their writing with others by submitting their work to contests and publications. This mentorship offers a valuable opportunity for students to gain firsthand knowledge of the publishing process as well as for the world to benefit from hearing these original voices and talented writers.

Bilingual Read Aloud Library

In October, WWT&E officially launched the Willow Way bilingual Audio & Video Library! Even apart from the recent influx of younger students since our expansion into elementary schools, ready access to books read aloud bilingually are an important, but rare resource for ELL students and their literacy and language development. Classic kids books are rarely translated, and when they are, they can be hard to find and are best read bilingually. With the Willow Way Audio/Video Library, our wonderful tutors and translators are recording themselves reading picture and chapter books in both English and a second language, which are free to access on our website. Through these books, our students have a more accessible bank of bilingual voices and words, which improves vocabulary, grammar, and comfort with the English language and promotes literacy skills. Thank you to our tutors and translators for your invaluable help on making this project possible!

Walid's Work

Over at UC Davis, Walid Jailani, a tutor and former leader at WWT&E, has founded the Paths to College Club, a student-led organization dedicated towards providing guidance to newcomer students at Mira Loma High School in navigating a route to college. College applications, financial aid, and the journey to post-high school education in general, can be confusing and overwhelming when a student is the first in their family to attempt it. Walid’s club provides invaluable support and advice to these students, all from UC Davis university students who made that journey themselves. We love the work Walid is doing in his Paths to College Club and look forward to supporting his efforts. Great job, Walid!

Welcome to a New School Year!

Welcome back to WWT&E! We are so excited to begin the 2022-23 school year and get to work with our remarkable students. This is our third year in action and we are excited to see a return of so many of our amazing tutors and translators. Their unwavering commitment and impressive skills have truly enriched the lives of our students. We are also excited to extend a hearty welcome to our returning students from San Juan Unified School District students from 2021-22, as well as our many new students, as we have recently expanded into the Twin Rivers, and Elk Grove Unified School Districts. To all of our students: Welcome!! We are so happy to have you, and we are so looking forward to getting to know you and working together this year! See everyone on Zoom!

WWTE National Award Winners

Congratulations to our tutors and translators who earned national Congressional Awards, United Nations Awards, and Presidential Volunteer Service Awards! For high school and college aged individuals, these are national awards for community impact, requiring anywhere from 30 to 400 hours of volunteering. These are tremendous honors that require an incredible amount of diligence, dedication, and compassion. You guys are fantastic, wonderful, inspiring people and you have made such a change in our community. Thank you for your impactful work! Our community needs and appreciates each of you!

Willow Way Tutoring Receives Commendation from Congress

We are proud to announce that Willow Way Tutoring received San Juan Unfiied School District’s “Most Valuable Partner” Award recognizing our group’s dedication to and impact on students’ education. We are also proud to announce that we’ve received a distinguished letter of Congressional Commendation from our U.S. congressman, Dr. Ami Berra, for our work with students across the district for 2021-22. A huge congratulations to all of the tutors, translators, and volunteers who enable Willow Way Tutoring and Enrichment to have the impact that it does. Our success is directly attributed to our amazing tutors, translators, volunteers, and of course, our impressive students. Each plays an essential role in Willow Way's achievements. Our tutors, translators, and volunteers with their expert knowledge and skills, create an enriched learning environment and our students' dedication to learn and excel gives meaning to our efforts. These honors from the San Juan Unified School District and Congressman Dr. Ami Berra are significant milestones that recognize the commitment and impact of Willow Way Tutoring and inspire us to continue working to transform lives and positively impact the educational journey of our students.

Class Visits

Congratulations to Avery who won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Writing Contest for a short story in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category and published her trilogy of novels, a project 5 years in the making. Avery writes that she hopes, “to use this award and these books to inspire young writers, particularly from underserved communities. So many kids have a story to tell, but think that they couldn't possibly submit it to a contest or turn it into a book or think that it has to be of JK Rowling quality for it to be published. Finishing this trilogy was a really important experience for me to have, I think, especially when it came to building my self-confidence. I would love to encourage young students to write so they can have that experience too!"

Avery says that she is living proof that writing is a process that grows and evolves as the writer does. Avery was ten years old when she started writing a trilogy about a young girl who, through a series of mishaps, was raised by a pack of wolves. The novels cover themes of family, belonging, and identity as the main character evolves over the three books and comes to terms with the differences between herself and others. Avery says that as the main character changes, "readers can see my growth as a writer as well since I grow from age ten to fifteen throughout the drafting and editing process!” Avery will visit local 4th-6th grade classrooms to tell their students about the books, how she wrote them, and the importance of stories in general. She will answer student questions, read a small excerpt from the trilogy, and lead a class writing game.

Junior Translator Program Has Launched!

Thank you to Nessar, who is successfully leading our new Junior Translator program! This is super helpful and we’re all incredibly grateful for his help! The Junior Translator Program pairs multilingual, high achieving middle schoolers to serve as translators for high school aged content experts. Together they provide tutoring to refugee and newcomer students. “There are so many talented, skilled kids in younger grades who want to help their communities, and this is a great way for them to be involved and see the value they can add,” Alexander reported. “Being fluent in two languages, let alone three-plus like many of our junior translators are, is really impressive and valuable. Our junior translators have something tremendous to offer the world. It’s great to give them the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to serve others.”
Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment is all about taking the knowledge and skills a person has gained and using it to better the world. Our newest volunteers, while young, fit right in and are already impressively impactful. Nessar, one of our top multilingual tutors over the past 3 years, is leading and managing this program. He recruits, trains, supports, and monitors all of our junior translators, which is no easy task. Thank you again, Nessar, for your impactful contribution to Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment. This program would not be possible without you!

AP Prep Program Launched

In our tutoring program, we have encountered students from schools with limited resources to support students' efforts in advanced courses. We informally ran a drop in tutoring program in 2021 for a few AP subjects, but are happy to announce that we now have a formal program that can support students in 15 AP courses. Every Sunday, for five hours, under-resourced students in these courses can drop-in for free AP homework or test prep support with a tutor who has obtained a perfect score on that test.

Congratulations to our 2021 PVSA Winners!

Congratulations to our tutors who earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2021! That’s an incredibly difficult task to do, so fantastic job to all who accomplished it! You guys are awesome, inspiring people and you have made such a change in these communities. What’s all this about? The President’s Volunteer Service Award was created by President Bush to, according to him, “recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity.” The award is to honor those individuals whose service has positively impacted communities all across the United States and inspire others to take action and serve as well. Since then, every US President after Bush has continued the program, and so we can now say we are proud to announce our 2021 President Volunteer Service Award earners: Nohemi Vela Guevara, Erik Uerkwitz, Nessar Hekmatjo, Walid Jailani, Alice Lee, Ella Stone, Alexander Yue, and Avery Yue.

Halloween Treat Bags!

We thought it would be fun to create and share Halloween treat bags with our refugee and newcomer students, many of whom were experiencing the holiday for the first time and had a lot of questions about it! This was a big hit last year with the students and, with students back to in-person learning, it would be a lot easier to pass them out! We assembled 100 treat bags and opened 500 glow band bracelets to share with the students and their siblings. The students had a lot of fun looking inside their bags, trying on the spider rings and sampling some of the candy. The glow bracelets, though, were the biggest hit with kids and parents alike as they snapped the sticks and watched the liquid change into a neon color that glowed in the dark!

Supplies Drives for Our New Neighbors

With at least 2,500 Afghan refugees expected to arrive in Sacramento over the next few weeks, we wanted to know how we could help welcome our new neighbors and soon-to-be students. In our meeting with the refugee team for our community, we asked what we could do to support their arrivals and learned that the team’s biggest worry was having the items they knew would be needed and in short supply. Some of the items were not a surprise. Furniture, clothing, household and personal care items were noted. However, we also learned that we should expect some of our new neighbors to have mobility issues unable to be addressed and provided for during the first few weeks of their arrival. The team would love to be able to loan out wheelchairs, walkers, and canes for those weeks of waiting, if they had access to those things. In response, we did a supply drive and were able to donate furniture, clothing, household items, and personal supplies for the refugee team to distribute! Wheelchairs and other mobility helpers were harder to procure, but Dr. Holly Haight and the Peterson family came to the rescue by donating wheelchairs, canes and walkers to the team. Thank you to everyone who donated, organized, and transported these items!

Congressional Award Winner!

Congratulations to Alexander who earned a Congressional Award Gold medal! The Congressional Award is the highest honor awarded to a youth civilian by the United States’ Congress and “recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in America’s youth” through the attainment of a variety of goals that, among other things, require at least 800 years of validated service work and a five day expedition to further personal growth. Over the course of 2 ¼ years, Alexander has completed 571 hours of voluntary public service, 332 hours of personal development, 593 hours of physical fitness, and a 5-day, 4-night solo-camping & group-backpacking trip. Approximately 500 youth win the award annually from a pool of 43,654 individuals who participate in the program. Congratulations, Alexander!

Free Physicals Program Launched!

This fall, we learned that many of our students would be dropped from their free, after-school soccer program unless they could obtain records of a sports physical. These soccer programs are enormously impactful to our students, as they enable kids to develop team building skills, create friendships, and experience a feeling of belonging and connection to their school. In response, we found doctors and physician’s assistants willing to donate a few hours of their time after work. The school district that runs this program provided space for us to conduct the physicals and donated additional translators to assist parents in completing the health history portions of the form. We provided 3 medical doctors and 1 physician’s assistant, medical supplies like stethoscopes and scales, and volunteers to help measure weight, height, and blood pressure, as well as play games with the students while they waited their turn with the doctors. Our first event was a huge success and we have since added additional sessions over the school year to provide physicals to any students participating in other free sports programs, such as basketball. Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment has now provided over 800 free sports physicals to our refugee, newcomer, and low-income students across multiple dates this school year! A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who took time out of their days to serve, and a special thanks to all the doctors who have worked tirelessly for our students and make this program possible.

Thoughts and Prayers!

As many of you know, our community is home to the largest number of Afghan refugees nationwide. However, we learned we still have 27 SJUSD students from 19 families who are currently trapped in Afghanistan. The refugee team from the school district is doing everything they can to try to get them home, but it is a complicated situation. In our community, 1,700 of our students enrolled are of Afghan origin, many of whom return to visit family each summer. This past summer was no different. Please join us in praying and sending good thoughts to our neighbors and students trying to return home.

Welcome to a New School Year!

Welcome to a new school year! We cannot wait to meet and start working with our refugee and newcomer students! We will provide multilingual academic and SEL support from 3-8pm each day. We will serve students in over 30 schools and aim to provide more than 3000 hours of support for newcomer and refugee students. We are looking forward to making new friends and changing lives, including our own! We have been working hard behind the scenes to create fliers in students’ native languages that teachers will pass out in their classes, code an automated tutoring appointment reminder system with information in the students’ native languages to bolster attendance, code an appointment scheduling system, and progress report tracker to make monthly progress reports to referring teachers more efficient and impactful. A huge thank you to our tutors and translators who made this happen!! Let’s go!!

Year One is a Wrap!

Willow Way Tutoring began working with the refugee and newcomer students of San Juan Unified School District in mid-June, 2020. We started as a small team of 6 tutors providing support from 9am-3pm each day in a virtual summer school program. During the school year, the number of students needing multilingual academic support grew and so did we. A year later, we were a strong team of 30+ tutors speaking 12+ languages serving 16+ schools. Together we provided over 2500 hours of support for newcomer and refugee students. In these hours, friendships were formed and lives were changed -for both the students and the tutors. In our off hours, we provided in-person events and enrichment activities. The work behind the scenes was immense and we thank all who helped make this past year a huge success. We are already looking forward to the year ahead and the impact we can continue to make.

Ella Wins Contest in Landslide!

Congratulations to Ella Stone who won our Outstanding Tutor of the Month competition! Ella put together weekly canva fliers and sent them to her team of students via text and email, writing in their own language to encourage their attendance in tutoring. In one month's time, she sent over 60 such messages! We asked Ella to share a bit about herself and what she likes about volunteering with Willow Way Tutoring. Here's what she shared...

Hi, my name is Ella Stone. I am a 15-year-old who enjoys outdoor activities and having a good time. I believe learning can be fun as well. With a love for knowledge and assisting others, I intend to earn my Bachelor’s in Mathematics at 17 and my Master’s in Teaching at 19.

As a volunteer with WWTutoring, it brings me joy to see students understand topics they previously struggled with. More importantly, WWTutoring students find a fun and welcoming environment where they can fit in and be themselves. Whether our students need assistance with a homework assignment or are simply joining us to hang out, we are always happy to see them.
Ella is clearly on her way to becoming an impactful teacher and we feel lucky to have her on our team at Willow Way Tutoring. Thank you, Ella!!

Spring Park Day!

For our students, spring arrived with the start of many new great things, such as in-person schooling for a few hours each week. We celebrated by holding an in-person park day to share some of our favorite spring traditions with our refugee & newcomer friends. We filled plastic eggs with candy and hid them in a grassy field for the students to find. We played music and outdoor park games such as soccer, Simon Says, & created a fun filled obstacle course complete with a crazy Limbo contest.

Back to School Clothes

With the promise of a return to in-person learning and with it, the exchange of pjs for school clothes, we thought of our newcomer & refugee students and how they might be feeling about attending their new schools for the first time in-person. We thought some of them might feel like us and want a great outfit for their first day back. We definitely prefer a shopping trip in a cool friend's closet over a trip to the mall. So that's just what we did here. We pulled together boxes of clothing donated by our very favorite and most stylish friends and shared them with our students. We hope they loved the selections as much as we did!


Despite all of the loss we've experienced lately from the pandemic, there is still a lot to be grateful for. So we wanted to do our best to share some Thanksgiving spirit with our refugee & newcomer students who are new to this American holiday. We bought and assembled Thanksgiving bags filled with candy & other fun treats. We then bundled up so we could safely pass out the goodie bags at a local library's parking lot. Later, we hosted a zoom session to watch, “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and played games on zoom with our students and some of their family members!


Celebrating Halloween safely in a pandemic is tricky, but we wanted to give it a try in order to share our favorite Halloween traditions with our refugee & newcomer students who were curious about this new holiday. We bought and assembled Halloween bags filled with candy, glow sticks, plastic spiders, spooky stickers, & other treats. We also decorated a car and then passed out our goodie bags to our students at the local library. Later, we hosted a zoom session to watch, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and played pictionary and Bingo with our students.