Literacy Green Bay

When taking a look back, the problem that these new Americans face, according to the statistics shown, is they are not getting the proper education needed. Whether that is due to dropping out of school, bad teaching habits, or just not getting the right education from their homeland, it is very apparent that something has to be changed. One thing pointed out was the fact that the teachers had to have a really good understanding of how to teach new Americans the curriculum in a way that would be understood. However, this cannot necessarily be the full answer to the problem because every teacher has a different teaching style and approach in the classroom. When these students are having a difficult time in school, they resort to dropping out. Even after dropping out, they still need to have ways to get properly educated for life outside of the classroom, especially if they need to learn English.  Continue reading


Baseball invites Immigrants to Dominate

By Karlee Dies

Comedian Trevor Noah talks Sports in America

The crowd is cheering. The aroma of hot dogs, popcorn and excitement fill the area. The teams are playing their heart out. Memories are being made. Some of the greatest memories come from sports. American sports are known for great fans, great games, and great athletes.

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The International Institute of Erie Gives Hope

“The International Institute of Erie really helps people, you should give them a call”, said Pat Cappabianca a retired teacher, administrator and former city councilman.

For those of you that don’t know the International Institute of Erie, or the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, or if that’s too much of a mouthful you can call it USCRI for short. The USCRI have for over 100 years have “advanced the rights and lives of those who have lost or left their homes.”

What they mean by that is imagine for a second if you would your sleeping in your bed your safe place the one place that everyone should feel secure and instead of waking up to your alarm clock everyday you wake up to the sound of gun shots. They keep getting closer and closer with every passing day. One day it gets too close and you have to go and you come over to America, no money, no family, nowhere to live. USCRI gives these people many things but above all they give these people hope.

60 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced meaning uprooted. Less than 0.1 percent of those 60 million people will get the chance to start a new life. That’s where USCRI comes in.

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Places with language barrier

by Taylor Buffington

Based on what I have picked up there are some places in the Erie area where New Americans may struggle with English. East High School in Erie is a place where learning English is probably a big deal. Learning a new language is probably harder on kids than it is on adults. East High School has so many students that probably need some help.


East High School is a high school located in Erie, Pennsylvania and it has many students who are learning English. I did an internship with a program that took place at East High and in the main entrance of the building there are maps from many countries around the world. During the time of my internship I was curious as to why those maps were there. The map were of far off countries like Iraq and Ethiopia. Upon taking advanced electronic journalism I would learn why the maps were there.

I learned that East High is well known for having cultural diversity. East High has approximately 900 students and of those 900 students 300 of them are English language learners. School can be a very hard place to fit in even for students who already speak English. It is quite hard to imagine how much harder it is for the students who can’t speak English. It is great that students have opportunities to learn English and that there are some people out there that are willing to lend a hand to students who need help learning English.

How to learn English

by Taylor Buffington

In the Erie School districts there are some programs that help the students learn English due to English not being their native language. It is rather difficult to learn English it is maybe the hardest language in the world to learn. Lots of times children are not exactly here in the United States by choice. There are many cases in which children have no choice, but to come here to the United States and they can’t speak English well at all. Some school district do offer programs where that can be helpful.

The Erie public school system has a comprehensive educational program for English language learner (ELL). The main goal of the ELL program is to give students the necessary skills to function successfully in an English speaking environment. In the ELL students are provided with instructions in order to help develop the best skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. They are also required to learn science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts.

Seeing students who struggle is quite possibly one of the hardest things there is to watch. In the United States there are many different things that students will struggle with. There are some students who just have a very hard time learning things, but there are also others who just aren’t able to speak English at all. That seems that would be the ultimate challenge as a student when you don’t even know what it is you are learning.

There are many reasons why students don’t learn English. Some of the reasons are it is too difficult, it is expensive, it takes too long and those are just a couple of the reasons. Many of the New Americans that come to the United States are not here by choice and they don’t exactly have a lot of money. It seems many things that are needed in this world are quite expensive. It being difficult seems to be pretty common because nobody wants to do anything that is difficult. The fact that it also takes a lot of time is a good reason. Learning a new language is something that takes a very long time and is not something that can just be done instantly. New Americans don’t exactly have a lot of time on their hands so learning a new language is a great challenge. There are also some New Americans that just don’t see a need in learning a new language.

With some organizations out there to help learn a new language they are some things New Americans definitely need to take advantage of. These programs are something that is needed in order for the New Americans to assimilate and feel more welcome here in the United States.

What the International Institute of Erie has to offer

By Anna Ashcraft

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) has been around since 1919, helping the people of Erie and individuals in other areas across the country become acquainted to life in America. The International Institute of Erie (IIE) is a local field office of the USCRI. Erie has been welcoming refugees and immigrants for many years now. The IIE provides a wide range of programs the help successfully adapt immigrants and refugees to life in the United States. They provide interpretation in over thirty languages, as well as offer childcare, health, education, job support and community support services.
Recently a large influx of New Americans have been coming in to America, in part by political turmoil and war; America has responded by implementing the New American Plan and the Pennsylvania Refugee Resettlement Program.
The Pennsylvania Refugee Resettlement Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The program provides employment and educational opportunities, case management, and health and financial support services to new refugees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The White House Task Force on New Americans was implemented on November 21, 2014. It was established solely for “better integrating immigrants and refugees into American communities,” the White House New Americans project have listed on their website.
The task force has many campaigns that have been implemented since the program began in 2014. The Building Welcoming Communities Campaign (BWCC) helps integrate individuals into communities and neighborhoods. The Stand Stronger Citizenship Awareness Campaign helps lawful permanent residents apply for citizenship. Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization uses stories to promote naturalization, integration initiatives, and help to increase awareness of contributions made by New Americans, with about 150 welcoming communities AmeriCorps sent to nearly 100 communities.
The IIE helps with a number of different things that come up when moving to a different country. They help with childcare, provide meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), prepare new homes, and welcome new comers. They also provide foundations through education, jobs, and health and community support. The IIE provides interpreters in over thirty languages.
The IIE has services that include opportunities for employment, financial literacy, English as a second language (ESL) and orientation programs.
The Child Care facilities they work with are state licensed and include Child Care, Day Care, Preschool, Nursery School, Pre-K and Kindergarten. They also offer summer care, summer camp, and special needs care.
You can find Child Care hours and information on They list the childcare hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Small World Child Care is a state licensed facility that serves clients of the IIE as well as the local community. “Our facility provides quality child care to children regardless of cultural diverse natures, disabilities or special needs,” as stated on the website It is a full time and part time childcare facility. Languages spoken at the facility include Arabic, Bosnian (Serbo Croat), English, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.
“Our mission is to provide the type of early childhood education that is vital to future academic success.” Small World Child Care adheres to the PA Early Learning Standards. The facility accepts children ages 3 weeks to 15 years. They are also trained in special needs with resources to administer an asthma nebulizer treatment, work with people who have asthma auditory impairment, behavioral/emotional issues, cognitive dysfunction/delay, gifted ability, infant monitors (Apnea), speech/language delay and special diets.
Get Connected Erie is nonprofit organization that is part of the United Way of Erie County. “It may be hard to believe but millions of people spend decades in refugee camps, unable to return home. Resettlement in another country is often the only way refugees…have a chance to rebuild their lives,” the website stated.
The IIE and its affiliates help individuals and families rebuild their lives, and often start from scratch. “From the moment refugees arrive at the airport, USCRI is there to guide them toward becoming self-sufficient, contributing members of their new community.”
The resettlement programs the IIE help address basic and immediate needs of families and individuals such as knowledge of public transportation, enrolling children in school, finding a doctor, learning English and obtaining employment.
They also help build support systems for overcoming past trauma and grief. Refugees are expected to become self sufficient within the first year of their arrival in the United States. They help refugees achieve self-sufficiency by helping them learn how to manage money, understand credit, train for a new career, or re-establish professional credentials in the United States.
The IIE is here to support individuals and families and is available for anyone in need. They also have an abundance of resources available to the public. They are located at 517 E. 26th street Erie, PA 16504 and they can be reached at (814)-452-3935.


A New Hope



Where am I from? You might never know.

Overseas lays my heart, but yet here I must grow.

I can’t bear to remain in this place, yet I’m told for a living, this country has grace.

Will I thrive through the difference or create some resistance?

Will I try to fit in or will I die from within?

Because living so different, here, is a sin.

I can’t live on my own, I need help from loved ones.

But when I’m so far from my home…where are my loved ones?

I’ve heard from my family that there’s places that help.

But how can I go when I’m not feeling myself?

And by “myself,” I mean someone who’s “cool.”

Because we all know if you’re not popular, you’re a fool. Continue reading

Assimilation Nation Podcast: Old Songs New Opportunities.

The Assimilation Nation Podcast sits down with Kelly Armor the Director of Education and Folk Art at The Erie Art Museum to talk about the art museums Old Songs New Opportunities program and their new CD project Simba La La.

To learn more about Old Songs New Opportunities visit their page on the Erie Art Museum website here.