Summer is winding down and here at CRP we have started our fall programming! This session is the busiest we have ever had, with our center now open an additional day per week and a packed activity schedule. For the first time we’ll be starting two Girl Scout groups, as well as an after-school homework club. And, as always, we have plenty of English and computer classes, teens and children’s activities, and our women’s Hope Workshop co-op. After a number of women in the co-op were resettled, we have started the program again with several new members who are enjoying getting to know one another while knitting, crocheting, and making other beautiful crafts.

Our English classes, in particular, are very popular. Offering 6 separate English classes, CRP’s teachers are currently working with over 150 students to practice conversation skills that will help them succeed in an uncertain future. We have a wonderful mix of refugee teachers from our community along with native English-speaking teachers. We are particularly happy to welcome Hala’h, a new addition to our teaching team, who was an English teacher in Iraq. We are thrilled that so many of our community members are engaged in leading activities. They exemplify the true spirit of community, which we hope is always the hallmark of our work.

Because families in our community often get resettled to English-speaking countries, our English program is particularly important. English classes are a welcoming, friendly, and safe space where members of our community can gain confidence in conversational English and prepare for a potential new life abroad. As Zaid, a student in the beginner class, explains, “English is an important language in every country. Learning English will also help me for when I get resettled to Australia.” This is a common sentiment among our students — and we fully anticipate adding additional classes over the coming months as we find additional space to hold classes for currently wait-listed students.