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Small Footsteps
Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Christian Associates Network

Refugee Homework Club

The Upper Room Church Homework Club started as a response to children's requests in our church services for help with their homework. Unable to get support from parents who spoke little to no English, the children felt ashamed they weren't keeping up with their classmates or simply wanted to succeed and knew we were willing to help.


We believe we will address needs in four main areas:

First, family welfare - many refugee children speak English more quickly than their parents. Children we know often 'skip' school to attend appointments to serve as translators for their parents and then their school work suffers.

Second, we believe we can help families develop life skills as we help them navigate parenting responsibilities - e.g. a parent helping their child with their homework. If they don’t speak English well enough, we can provide translation as they work through homework together. Consider that wealthier families often send their children to tutors when they need support. 



Thirdly, we believe this will produce community cohesion as we enable these families to integrate into their new culture and community. Parents will be encouraged and supported to attend parent meetings with their children or attend important school events that often go unnoticed. Lastly, we will reduce isolation by bringing volunteers and the community together to help one another. Children are fun and volunteers love to make a difference sitting alongside a family and seeing them work together on homework and/or learn English together is an attractive volunteering opportunity!


A typical homework club day involves children piling into the shop front we've hired and immediately pulling out homework - no stopping them from learning. Sitting around tables and working through homework, giving additional practice sheets or talking through assignments, we are primarily helping one to one. Additionally, we've now seen parents bringing their homework from their ESOL classes and have a separate area/homework zone to assist them with assignments and answer questions.

Longer term we hope to have students work together - learning by teaching others - and group sessions that are in addition to their homework. This would involve helping recite their times tables, reading stories aloud or even learning dramatic recitation.

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