Summer 2018

Dear Friends of Refugees and REP, 

Seeds we planted and have nurtured for a decade were in full bloom this summer at REP! Refugee youth who arrived in Memphis years ago are reinvesting in the next generation. Four young men from Burundi are leading a children's soccer team. Y oung women  from the community are helping to run the same  programs they once attended. We are immensely proud of our participants' commitment to service and community!

Now, we are wrapping up a whirlwind summer program! Adults are already eager for the next round of ESOL classes, and BELLA pre-K students are eager to begin Kindergarten. Our summer youth programs  focused on literacy, STEM, arts and creative expression, mental health, leadership, mentorship, and learning to swim! 

As always, we could not do what we do without the support of our volunteers and community partners. In particular, we recognize the following groups for their outstanding commitment: the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, Hutchison School, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, and Shelby County Schools Nutrition Services. 

We are especially excited about Trauma and Healing Club, our newest joint venture with the University of Memphis and Center for the Advancement of Youth Development. THC is research-based endeavor that provides youth a space to express themselves and address the impact of violence, stress, and displacement in their lives. 

In closing, I would like to share the following mantra attributed to Lao Tzu that continues to inspire us and our work everyday: "Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.'"

Cam Echols Blackmon

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Cultural integration is successful when local communities come together to give their time, talents, and compassion to assist newcomers. See below for some of the ways you can welcome refugees and immigrants to Memphis!

After School Homework Helper: 
Refugee and immigrants students are placed in grades according to age not skill level when they arrive in Memphis. Your help goes along way in helping them catch up to their peers! Our after-school program runs Monday - Thursday throughout the academic school year. The after school program will resume on August 13. Elementary school students are present from 3:15 - 4:30 p.m. Middle school students are present from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., and high school students are present from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Commitments are flexible, but consistency is highly preferred.

ESOL Teacher's Aide: 
Assist in or lead ESOL classes for adults.   Class types include pre-literacy, low-literacy, and citizenship readiness. Aides are a crucial component of ESOL classes and provide one-on-one instruction, practice with native speakers, and a welcoming presence. Classes are offered Monday - Thursday mornings from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Classes will resume on August 20th.  (We are in the process of developing evening classes.)  A commitment of at least one session per week is required.

Nursery Care Aide:
 Care for infants and toddlers while their parents can attend ESOL classes. 
The nursery is offered Monday - Thursday  from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Nursery will resume on August 20th.  A commitment of at least one session per week is required.

BELLA Pre-K Classroom Aide:
 Assist the lead teacher in our interactive BELLA pre-K program that prepares toddlers academically, socially, and emotionally for Kindergarten. BELLA is offered Monday - Thursday mornings from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.  BELLA will resume on August 20.  A commitment of at least one session per week is required. 

Creative Writing Coach:  
Co-run or assist in our creative writing program for middle school students. Creative writing is offered on Fridays from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. during the academic school year. 
A weekly commitment is required.

ACT Prep Coach:
Help high school students prepare for the ACT! 
The program is offered on Fridays from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. during the academic school year.
A weekly commitment is required.

Non-profit Administration Support:
 Provide back office support, including record keeping, document creation, filing, etc. 
Commitments are flexible, but consistency is highly preferred.

*Volunteer Orientations*:
Please plan to attend one of the following orientation sessions if you wish to volunteer. Both sessions will be held at our program location 258 N Merton Street.

1. Saturday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
2. Saturday, September 22nd from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Learning to swim at the CBU pool with Hutchison school

Migration Policy Institute:
Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States 
to learn more

We all had fun at KuPanda girls' day!
Volunteer Testimonial
"I had never volunteered with an organization serving the refugee community prior to coming to REP this summer. I really enjoyed getting to know the other staff and volunteers, as well as members of the community, and in doing so I learned a lot more about the refugee experience than I could ever learn in any class. Since I was a literacy coach for the third grade throughout the entire summer, and, for the most part, worked with the same kids each day, I was able to really get to know them and form relationships with them. That was easily the best part of the summer, and the kids each had a greater impact on me than I ever could have imagined when I first started" 
- Katie Kuhn, Rhodes College Student/Summer Service Fellow

Our KuPanda superheroes think YOU are a superhero, too!
We could not do what we do without your support. 

Your generous donations of time, energy, and resources allow us to promote dignity, community, and education for refugees in Memphis. 

(Please consider making a modest recurring monthly donation.)

Learn more at our  WEBSITE!

We hope to see you soon at REP!