Educator Forum Provides Resources for Improving Immigrant and Refugee Inclusion in Local Schools

Educator Forum Provides Resources for Improving Immigrant and Refugee Inclusion in Local Schools

Timothy Walden | February 15, 2019

 

PITTSBURGH, PA – Registration is now open for the All for All Spring Educator Forum, a day-long training for educators and school staff designed to offer practical ways to improve inclusion for immigrant, refugee, and English Learner students. This event is organized by All for All in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Remake Learning and will be hosted at Young Scholars of Western PA Charter School. The forum will take place on Saturday, March 23rd and will run from 8AM to 4:30PM with light breakfast and lunch provided. Visit allforall.world/events to register.

 

In Pittsburgh Public Schools alone, there are over 2,000 students who speak a language other than English, including 1,098 English Learners (ELs). These students represent 57 different countries and speak at least 46 native languages at home. However, there are few professional development opportunities that help teachers and staff understand our region’s diverse populations and how to support them in their interactions with the educational system.

 

“Schools are particularly important spaces when we think about creating welcoming communities, because they are one of the primary sites where immigrant and refugee families interact with US culture,” says Christina Pope, Network Director at Welcoming America. “When families’ experiences are affirmed in schools, and when they can trust that their children will be given equitable opportunities to thrive, our whole community benefits.”

 

“This training is invaluable for both those who work extensively with immigrant and refugee students as well as those who have never had prior training in this area,” says Annie Prucey, Vice President for Global Education at World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. “By covering topics from cultural humility to strategies for improving integration, we hope attendees will come away feeling more empowered to make their schools welcoming spaces for immigrant and refugee families.”

 

Session presenters will include Christina Pope from Welcoming America, who will present on their Building Welcoming Schools curriculum; local ESL teachers from All for All’s Professional Learning Community; as well as Ivonne Smith-Tapia (Project Manager, University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development), Jenna Baron (Executive Director, Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education), and Peyton Klein (Executive Director, Global Minds), with a keynote address by Dr. Kari Kokka (University of Pittsburgh School of Education). Angélica Ocampo (President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh) will act as MC and panel moderator throughout the event.

 

“Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe space for learning for all students, regardless of race, country of origin, or native language,” says Jenna Baron. “The Educator Forum will help teachers and school staff learn how to do so in ways that are culturally responsive and considerate of the diverse backgrounds and assets these students bring to our region.”

 

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About All for All

All for All connects people, organizations, and communities to actions that build a welcoming and inclusive region for all. Driven by collaboration with community and cross-sector partners, All for All aims to advance economic opportunity, break down barriers, and further immigrant inclusion across the Pittsburgh region. All for All is guided by the Immigrant Community Blueprint, a comprehensive community-designed plan for Allegheny County. Learn more at www.allforall.world.

 

About Remake Learning

Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social change. Their purpose is to spark and share best practices and new ideas, make it easier for neighbors and colleagues to help each other, reduce duplicative efforts in the region, and leverage resources collectively for greater impact. Learn more at www.remakelearning.org.

 

About World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is dedicated to providing a pathway for a more globally minded region, offering students and the community a learning space that covers key international issues. The Council is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), a nationwide network of more than 90 noprofit, nonpartisan Councils. Learnmore at www.worldpittsburgh.org.

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