This summer brought three special reasons for celebration. First, the Network's new weekly tutoring session for refugee school children in El Cajon, filled to capacity with eager students. Those receiving this help in El Cajon are mostly Karen and Iraqi. Some require our staff's translation services. All benefit from the organized one on one or small group work with volunteer tutors, some of whom are members of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women.
Second, thanks to donations, the two other tutoring sessions in the City Heights section of San Diego were able to continue, fully packed, for the whole school year, despite the high cost of gas. These refugee children are mostly Karen. Besides some initial translation help, they require transportation from nearby schools to our tutoring sessions, and to their homes afterwards, because of distance and for safety. We hope that donations will enable the Network to keep tutoring going during the summer as well, in the coming school year, so newly developing English skills are kept as high as possible.
Third, we are delighted to celebrate the seven Karen students in our tutoring sessions, who were seniors in high school this year, and who graduated. This is an amazing milestone for them and demonstrates tremendous effort and dedication on their part. They have been here for only four years. When they arrive they are placed in school classes according to their age, not their educational level. This is particularly difficult, for both teacher and student, as many classes in San Diego City schools have speakers of 20 or more different languages. Many of the refugee children have had no formal education before. They have had to master SO much new educational information and so many skills; and they have had so much to learn about the new expectations of them in this new homeland. Our special congratulations go to one of the seven graduates who received a scholarship to attend San Diego State University - what a wonderful role model!