The Little Heroes Foundation has awarded a grant to Jericho Road Ministries for the support of their Focused Learning for Youth (F.L.Y.) program. This is an afterschool program created to assist middle school-aged refugee students achieve the same success as their American peers. The program also provides support for each child’s social, emotional and behavioral needs.
The state of New York has the 4th largest number of refugees in the nation. Nearly 32% of those refugees have resettled in Erie County. Refugees face barriers in many aspects of their lives such as language, culture, education and poverty. Coming from countries like Burma, Burundi, Iraq and Somalia, the refugee youth are placed into school systems without regard to their previous education levels. Instead, the determining factor for where they are placed is often the school class size. This leads to serious setbacks in their education, language and literacy levels in addition to the challenges they face from the effects of poverty.
The F.L.Y. program seeks to improve the academic experience of refugee students in Erie County and help to improve graduation rates among them. These students have been identified as at-risk and underserved children by both local refugee community leaders and the refugee settlement agencies.
The Little Heroes Foundation grant will lend support to the program by providing funding for an educational field trip for the students as well as incentives for their learning during 2012.