Over the past two years, our program has implemented several new services tailored specifically to the immigrant experience. First, two therapists have collaborated to provide newcomer groups. These groups bring together students who are new immigrants to process their experiences and get support from their peers as well as the therapist facilitators. Topic areas include sharing cultural values and practices, celebrating their heritage, processing their immigration journeys and discussing their experience living in a new country. One group started a practice of wearing traditional dress on Friday as a way to share their cultural heritage with their larger school community. These groups were such a resounding success that they were featured in a KQED radio program. Take a listen!
Second, at a middle school, a therapist has started a Spanish language parent support group. While this group is not specifically for parents of newcomer students, there is a strong focus on helping monolingual Spanish speaking parents to support the social-emotional wellness of their children. Group topics include communication strategies, adolescent development, love languages and much more!
Meeting the needs of our students and families has always been at the heart of our school-based work. These new and creative interventions strategies have helped us to continue to meet those needs and build on the resilience of the immigrant communities we support.