Refugee children and youth often have a significant adjustment to life in their new community and schools. This includes language differences, not understanding how schools function, not knowing where to go for help, little to no familiarity with the curriculum or social mores, and difficulty making friends.
Our youth education programming seeks to equip the next generation with the support and skills they need to thrive in their new community.
Through our Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG), NICE is able to provide an overview to all eligible students soon after they arrive in Nashville by introducing them to U.S.-based schooling and equipping them with the required resources to be successful in K-12 education. RSIG core services include school orientation, school enrollment, case management and cultural exchange.
Youth Education Associate Manager
Youth Education Specialist
Youth Education Specialist
NICE coordinates three after school programs that focus on English language learning, Social-emotional learning, and academic support. Our programs also partner with several community organizations to provide diverse learning opportunities for our students. Any student currently enrolled at Margaret Allen, McMurray, or Wright Middle School is eligible to attend this free program. Snacks are available to all students and transportation can be provided in most circumstances.
Margaret Allen Middle School Site Coordinator
McMurray Middle School Site Coordinator
Wright Middle School Site Coordinator
Our Cultural Awareness Program provides training designed to equip teachers, school administrators, and other community groups with background information about specific cultural groups from the refugee/immigrant communities. These trainings are provided at no cost and are designed to empower groups to better support the needs of immigrant and refugee students in families in our community.
NICE’s Youth Mentorship program is a community-based mentoring program designed to encourage and support mutually beneficial, long-standing relationships between adult mentors and new American children ages 5-14. The program ensures school-age youths get high-quality and comprehensive academic, social emotional support that is culturally and linguistically sensitive.
Youth Mentorship Coordinator
Every summer, NICE hosts a community-based summer camp for both elementary and middle school students. Our camp is meant to provide students with opportunities for learning and community engagement during summer break. Camp is hosted Monday through Thursday and features lessons on English literacy, social and emotional learning, and STEAM-based projects. Campers also have the opportunity to attend several field trips and enrichment events with community organizations like the Nashville Zoo, the Nashville Children’s Theatre, or the Country Music Hall of Fame. Any student currently enrolled in Davidson County schools is eligible to attend, though special priority may be given to English Language Learners.
Immigrant and refugee youth face a unique blend of mental health challenges when resettling to Nashville. The stress of acclimating to a new home, combined with potential stressors from their resettlement journey, can make it difficult for youth who are trying to adjust to their new environment. NICE recognizes these challenges and is working to develop a network of providers and support groups focused on strengthening immigrant and refugee youth mental health. Through our case management program, mental health referral system, and other community-based partnerships, NICE is one of the leading champions of refugee and immigrant youth mental health in Nashville.
Youth Education staff provide services during the school day to support students in Glencliff High School’s SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) program. These students from around the world are newly-arrived in Nashville, are learning English, and have gaps in their formal education. They receive support with improving English literacy, developing confidence in the English language, acquiring knowledge of America’s culture, history and traditions, and they also increase their social emotional skills by practicing art therapy techniques.
Education Support Specialist