“I’ve taught hundreds of students in my career as a 7th grade reading & writing teacher. Why did this new volunteer gig feel so intimidating? Oh… there would just be the 2 of us with no set curriculum. THAT is what had me so nervous as I walked through the door my first Tuesday night for tutoring with Migros Aid.
Then it hit me – I was there to be a FRIEND! A smiling consistent face to chat with, have fun with, and maybe learn a little along the way. Ahhh…. I could be a FRIEND!
Just think about it. What do friends do? They chat while doing things they both enjoy. For Sifa, Rebecca, Daima, and I, that means we color with colored pencils, play games, read (we’ve found some great picture books!), write, and share snacks while swapping stories about siblings and school.
Being a part of the Migros Aid community is one of my favorite hours of the week where all I have to do is be a friend.”
By Martie Hoofer, a tutor at Migros Academy since the opening session. She and her husband, Steve, have 2 grown children. Martie taught at Pike Township schools for many years and remains actively involved in the school district. She worships and serves at One Fellowship Church.
The Migros Academy is our effort to empower emerging generations of immigrant and refugees in their education through one one one tutoring.
The Migros Academy launched on June 7 and is designed to help assist students to get ready for the upcoming school year that starts on August 1. Eleven volunteer tutors came to tutor students through the summer. All of the students that Migros Aid works within the community are behind in their education, some very significantly. Through the pandemic, most fell even more behind.
The Migros Academy is a continuation of our “Homework Club” that we have been doing for the past four years in the apartments. It is an effort to continue our efforts to empower emerging generations within the refugee community. Tutors will be matched with a student weekly to practice reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to accept kids from grades 1-8 and help them enter High School strong.
Tutors will meet weekly for about 9 weeks and then meet about 10 times during the fall and 10 times during the spring.
Please contact us if you want to serve in this capacity! We have more students who want a tutor than available tutors.
All tutors must fill out an application and have a background check and go through Migros 101. Make a difference in the life of a child today!
Angie Wiggins, Director of the Migros Academy, says, “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! •Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.“
Throughout the pandemic, so many in the community were asking each week when they could come to C.A.R.E. Club again. They were very excited when we were able to restart our weekly event in August!
One of our mantras at CARE club is “We care for you!” We believe many in the immigrant community need to be reminded of this on an ongoing basis and that so many of us want to see them succeed. Further, providing a consistent presence and routine is always important for those who have experienced trauma and instability to grow in resilience. Refugees from numerous religious backgrounds come to CARE club. Our goal is to provide a safe and secure space for refugees to share a meal, have conversations, nurture relationships, and enjoy activities.
Students who bring their homework can get help and adults who come have an opportunity to practice their English. Soccer games happen each week!
CARE CLUB Values:
Community | Empowerment | Connection | Transformation
CARE CLUB Vision: Provide a consistent safe, secure environment for refugees to gather Provide a hot, free, and healthy meal Provide creative activities for children to engage with Provide English conversation practice for adults Provide tutoring to students who bring their homework Provide community building through music, singing, and storytelling Provide volunteers an opportunity to engage with multiple cultures and meet the refugee community
After a year and a half, we have restarted our Homework Club, our weekly tutoring! Students can bring homework one afternoon a week after school at the apartment complex where they live, and volunteers help them to complete it. If they finish early, we have extra books and games. Students need to bring homework and they will receive rewards after attending a certain number of times. They also receive a snack at the end of the time together. Most of the student’s parents do not speak English and unable to help them with simple assignments. Please contact us to help out
Due to Covid-19 this year, it has left most of us feeling isolated and unable to have human connection. Despite this reality, a few Migros Mentors have been able to stay connected with refugees they assist in learning English. For most refugees, the feeling of isolation and loneliness is a reality for many, many years. There are so many new things to learn and figure out when moving to a new country.
One of our goals is to connect “Migros Mentors” to refugee families to encourage them and be a friend. Please contact us if you desire to practice English with someone and most importantly, be a friend.
Where would anyone be in life without friends? It is easy to be a Migros Mentor.
Volunteers are serving as tutors to help students with their online learning. We helped set up a tablet so that she can stay connected to her teacher and complete E-learning exercises.
When one of our high school students reached out to a mentor for help with a math assignment, he was able to connect her to a math teacher who could help her.
Over 400 Children’s books were donated to Migros Aid to distribute into the community. The children have been happy to receive books that are being distributed, as they do not have many in their homes. We share with students, “Leaders are readers!”
When one thinks of issues of injustice and poverty and sees those who struggle, we can be left to feel hopeless and feel that we can never make a difference. When we read statistics of global migration and the millions of refugees that live in the world, it makes us throw our arms up and want to give up.
However, when we show up and engage and meet one person who might be in a hard place, change is possible. This is what Migros Aid is about.
We can get lost in strategy, budgets, and planning – although this is important- we want to empower one life at a time. Our value and vision is a relationship.
We do this through our weekly Homework club (tutoring) and weekly CARE Club. We do this through Migros Mentors who connect with a family to be a friend and help guide along the way.
We had our final C.A.R.E. Club on December 19, 2019. This was the final session for session #1. We were so encouraged to have 98 students participate in our first session of C.A.R.E. Club in 2019.
The session was 23 weeks (August – December). We met each week and shared a meal, broke into small groups, and then had activities for students to engage with. We developed a values-based curriculum with the letters of C.A.R.E. guiding teaching and conversation: (Communication, Aspirations, Respect, Empowerment)
We had 3 vans that operate and transport those who come. The adults who come practice their English.
We were able to distribute backpacks that were filled with a gift and practical items and a Bible. We gave over 84 on December 19!
Please pray for the lives of the refugee students we are investing in and for 2020. Please contact us if you want to get involved.