Austin Refugee Education Program Forms with UT Austin, Austin Independent Schools

An Austin refugee education program will begin offering classroom and after-school support for two elementary schools.
By: Amaanah Refugee Services
Awesome Academy supports the educational needs of refugee youth.
Awesome Academy supports the educational needs of refugee youth.
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AUSTIN, Texas - Sept. 21, 2016 - PRLog -- Amaanah Refugee Services of Houston recently opened an Austin satellite office for a pilot program to bring much-needed refugee support services to school-age youth.

The refugee support nonprofit forged relationships with Austin Independent School District and the University of Texas at Austin to launch the highly successful Awesome Academy providing refugee students in Hart Elementary and Galindo Elementary with classroom and after-school programming.

"Refugee children in these two Austin schools will now have the specialized educational support needed thanks to the partnerships of Austin Independent School District and UT Austin," said CEO Ghulam Kehar of Amaanah Refugee Services. "In Houston, we've seen our Awesome Academy students thrive and fully believe it will flourish in the capital city."

Since its inception, the Awesome Academy has continually expanded and improved the curriculum and recreational activities. The Houston sites gradually added social services components to assist students with meals, uniforms and supplies. Students showed significant improvement in their retention of high-frequency words and English Language Arts grades, according to the 2015 Amaanah Refugee Services Annual Report.

In 2015, the Awesome Academy supported 251 students adding an average of $1,075 in services per student through private donations. Those funds supported nearly 5,000 hours of instruction, 139 program days and 20 instructors.

"We absolutely believe the Austin Awesome Academies will experience this kind of success," Kehar said.

In 2015, the US resettled 66,517 refugees, more than all other countries in the world combined. This year, the US plans to resettle about 85,000 refugees. Houston absorbs the greatest share of newcomers, last year welcoming more than 1,800 refugees while Austin welcomed about 960 resettled refugees.

As a post-resettlement nonprofit, Amaanah Refugee Services aids in long-term integration when the federal government's initial six-month Refugee Resettlement Program support expires. Amaanah's services provide after-school education, case management, financial assistance, women's services, language support, employment, in-kind goods and athletics.

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About Amaanah Refugee Services

Since 2008, Amaanah Refugee Services has been on a mission to integrate resettled refugees into their news homes and communities. Our vision is to transform the life of every refugee resettled around the world. We believe that refugees are dignified human being with exceptional experiences, talents and potential. With the right direction and resources, they will add to the prosperity of our societies.

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Tags:Refugees, Austin, Houston
Location:Austin - Texas - United States
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