I made a quick trip into South Philly this afternoon to see my refugees. The Inquirer had been running a series on violence in the schools and yesterday’s concluding piece was on South Philadelphia High School, where all of our teen refugees are enrolled. I have high hopes for the new principal (sixth in five years), but it’s a tremendous task– last year, the school had the greatest number of reported incidence of violence in the whole school district.
My newest family is doing well– the boys/young men say their classes are not hard and not too easy, although the state-mandated standardized tests are a waste of time for these new English learners. I delivered to them a converter box, so the television I’d dropped off earlier can now get reception.
I only got to see the middle daughter in my first family and she says that she does feel safer in the school, although she’s never had an interaction with the new principal. The elder sister– the most fluent and the most academic– was at work in an after-school program nearby, so I didn’t get to speak with her. I delivered to them the Sunday essay, “Burmese Nights” from last week’s NYTimes Magazine.
No word yet on employment for my two refugee candidates.