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Denver Welcoming Migrant Students – A New Hope for the Refugees

Denver’s surge in population of migrants

Denver has been in the limelight for helping the kids of migrants with their education. Most of the students enrolled are from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. The city of Denver has welcomed more than 36,000 migrants in the past year. Denver has faced a decline in the school-age population for some years. The Denver Public School is encouraging new enrolment which has skyrocketed in the past year. Most of the students are from Venezuela, a country that has been facing deep economic and political crisis.

McMeen Elementary School – A New Hope

McMeen is a dual-language elementary school. Most of their students are new to the United States which means a new culture, new language, new lifestyle, and new education. A volunteer at the school expressed that the positive thing about the school is that it embraces the international along with their new things, new families, new cultures, and most importantly, new languages. Another volunteer not only had her kids study there, but now also has her grandson enrolled. She said that the number of new admissions has brought them down to their knees, not that she is complaining.

The struggle of the little kids and their families

There are English translators for the Spanish kids who all gather around a cute table. The lunchroom is always filled. McMeen welcomes a lot of new students every week, which can go up to 15 new admissions, all these children are new to the county. The teachers and staff are overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the parents and the kids. Some of these children have walked from Venezuela to get to Denver.

Lyly Zaragoza is a kindergarten teacher. Her class has about 32 students which is the maximum number of children allowed per teacher. Some of these children have never been to a school and do not even know how to hold a pencil.

Many students spend the whole day crying missing the comfort of their parent’s embrace. This has resulted in them struggling to learn. The main reason for this struggle can be the way these families reached Denver. They had to walk and even saw dead bodies on their way. No child deserves this kind of struggle. The McMeen School enrolled almost 546 kids in 2023. The school is now serving 671 students.

Lack of funds and ways to raise money

The Denver Public School Board of Education noticed a hike in the number of enrolments of migrant students. Hence, upon discussion, more funds are being provided to help these kids. The executive director of Multilingual Education for the district Adrienne Endres said that the board is feeling the need to fund these schools as much as they can to make everything easier for the students, teachers, and volunteers. They understand the gravity of providing a safe working and learning environment.

Zaragoza claimed that many families have been supportive in making the education of the little ones easier. However, interventionists are still required to level up the conditions of these schools. The school does not have clarity on when help will be provided. Everyone is feeling stressed and helpless.

To help the kids and the school, the Denver Public School Foundation announced a new fundraiser- the Newcomer Student and Family Fund, to send money directly to the schools that are welcoming migrant students. The event will be virtual and will be held on 18th January from 12 to 1 pm.

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