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Rowland Hall students tutoring refugees



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Students at Rowland Hall are staying after school, voluntarily, to help other students with their class work. The students being tutored are refugees from all over Salt Lake who needed some extra help and support in school.

The refugees come from all over the world. Many of them just arrived, and most don't speak much English.

"Each year, Salt Lake has hundreds of refugees. And it's our job, living in the city, to welcome them into the community," says Matt Bossart a senior student at Rowland Hall.

That's why Bossart stays after school once a week to tutor.

"I don't speak their language, but we're both students and both here to learn," Bossart says.

Hannah Bebbington, who is also a tutor from Rowland Hall, says, "We all take for granted we go to school every day. They haven't had that opportunity before."

She says she's learned a lot from the refugees.

"They teach me patience. When they come in and don't understand, they're willing to come in and sit there as I try to explain it for at least half an hour, and they are so willing to learn," Bebbington says.

Liz Paige is in charge of the tutoring program and says this is the second time Rowland Hall has offered it, because it's needed.

"We think it's important to reach out to community with our time and skills and talents," Paige says. "They don't have resources at home. Their parents don't understand the homework they are being assigned."

At the tutor session KSL attended, Math was a subject most kids are working on. And even though it can be frustrating, they like it, and they like their tutors.

The kids tutor at Rowland Hall every Wednesday night. The refuges tutored are members of the International Rescue Committee Youth Program.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

Amanda Butterfield

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