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Students volunteer with refugees at the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado

The+classroom%27s+west+wall+is+decorated+with+the+%22Friendship+Wall.%22+Each+student+has+a+handprint+on+the+wall.
The classroom's west wall is decorated with the

The classroom's west wall is decorated with the "Friendship Wall." Each student has a handprint on the wall.

The classroom's west wall is decorated with the "Friendship Wall." Each student has a handprint on the wall.


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The Little Learners Program at the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado (IRC) is empowering and educating the youngest generation of refugees and refugee children. The IRC hosts classes for refugees, and the Little Learners program provides daycare for the parents while they take classes. The IRC also partners with Greeley RE-6 schools, and even hosts some classes at the school district 6 family center.

Eaton High School students Janae Jarnagin (19), Sydney Booth (19), and Tristin Brandly (19) had the opportunity to volunteer at the Little Learners program on Thursday May 17. Jarnagin said, “I love the idea that the program is helping refugees help themselves, and getting to play with all of the kids was an awesome experience.” All of the students chose to volunteer at the center to an English project that explores what life is like as a refuge.

Many of the children that come to the center’s daycare were born in America, but not all of them comprehend English. However, no matter what language children speak, they all have one thing in common: love for play.

The classroom is equipped with boxes upon boxes of toys. Classroom supervisor ad IRC worker Emi Sam-Bruce says that a big emphasis is placed on sharing toys and using the toys to help teach the kids English. While some children are unable to speak English, many can comprehend simple commands, especially the command to share.

The kids also have a snack time after a few hours of play. They all received goldfish and were read a book. The kids also had a particular affinity for Brandly, as none of them had her straight blonde hair. Brandly said, “Getting to see all of the kids having fun and just interacting with them was so much fun. I never knew volunteering could be fun like that.”

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Students volunteer with refugees at the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado