On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Pitt Serves, Greater Pittsburgh Area Fulbright Association, and JFCS hosted a Know Your Rights session for refugee families, as well as fun activities for kids as part of a service day initiative!
Held on Pitt’s campus, the day consisted of a presentation and conversation for immigrant parents on their rights to behavioral and discipline resources in the school system. While the parents were receiving this information, their kids participated in fun activities such as a drum circle, puppet-making, and some STEM projects.
The Know Your Rights Training was conducted by the Education Law Center and interpreted into Dari, Pashto, and Swahili. In addition to the information, the parents also received a list of organizations that can help give additional assistance when it comes to the local school system and their rights.
Pitt students and the Fulbright Teaching Assistant helped out interpreting for and supervising the kids’ activities. Orin James, Assistant Professor Biology at Pitt Bradford, led the puppetry workshop. Kids were tasked with creating a puppet to represent a hero or heroine from their home countries–whether a famous character or a family member or community member.
Another activity was a drum circle hosted by Stefanie and Bob from Music for Life. The drum circles are meant to be a cross-cultural, expressive activity that can help participants physically, emotionally, and mentally–and to just have fun!
The third activity offered to the kids was through Energize STEM, which helps promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and make these activities more accessible to students throughout the Pittsburgh region. Students worked with microscopes and samples to learn about cells and structures–and even made some of their own.
We’re so thankful the organizations and individuals who made this day possible for our refugee families to learn, gain resources, and have fun!