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Advocates seek more school programming for NYC’s newcomer immigrants

04.21.2022 | Chalkbeat NY | “It’s very frustrating and actually quite depressing for us as advocates because we know that when we meet a student who lives geographically far from the [English language learner] transfer schools, we know immediately it is going to be an uphill battle,” said Rita Rodriguez-Engberg, director of the Immigrant Students Rights Project at Advocates for Children New York. 

During visits to the five transfer schools focused on students learning English as a new language, Rodriguez-Engberg was struck by how many students said they were glad to have a bilingual social worker who “could help them navigate not just school life but life in the U.S.” Students may be dealing with varying levels of trauma, she said, such as coming to the U.S. alone, leaving conflict behind in a home country, being detained at the border before being released, or just missing home. Read article