Welcoming Afghan Newcomer Students Back to School

Switchboard is pleased to announce an upcoming webinar open to all refugee service providers, whether working at schools, state agencies, resettlement agencies or affiliates, or other organizations. Please circulate this announcement widely among your colleagues! 

What will this webinar cover? 
As the new school year begins, schools across the United States will continue to welcome newcomer students, including children and youth from Afghanistan. This webinar will provide a brief background on educational systems in Afghanistan, expand on cultural and migratory stressors, and discuss strength-based strategies to use across school settings. These topics will be explored using case studies and Switchboard’s toolkit Supporting Afghan Students in Schools & Youth Programs in the United States. 

Is this webinar for me? 
This webinar is geared toward educators, school administrators, school-based mental health professionals, and youth program staff who are working with Afghan children, youth, and their families, especially in school-based settings.  

Why should I attend? 
After attending this 60-minute session, you will be able to:   

  • Describe the circumstances of newly arrived Afghan students and their families, including the challenges they may face as they seek to adapt to the American education system 
  • Name core considerations for working with Afghan students and their families 
  • Name ways to create healing classrooms and learning spaces in your school setting 

Wednesday, September 7, 4:00–5:00 PM EDT/1:00–2:00 PM PDT  
Wednesday, September 7, 6:30–7:30 PM EDT/3:30–4:30 PM PDT
(Two live webinars offered at two different times to accommodate staff working in school-based settings)

Webinar Facilitators 

Sara Rowbottom is a Senior Technical Advisor with the International Rescue Committee, supporting Education and Youth programs across the U.S. and Europe. She provides training, technical assistance, and coordination for program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Sara has worked in domestic and international youth development for over 15 years, including seven years directing IRC Education programs in New York City. She is passionate about the power of creating inclusive, healing learning spaces to empower youth to thrive. As a subject matter expert for Switchboard, she led the development of the toolkit Supporting Afghan Students in Schools & Youth Programs in the United States, bringing together subject matter experts from Afghanistan and the U.S. to contextualize healing learning space strategies for Afghan students and the educators supporting them. 

Madina Masumi is a Switchboard Training Officer with a focus on Cultural Awareness. She is a licensed K-12 School Counselor, worked previously as a Case Manager for public assistance programs, and experienced firsthand the challenges of refugee integration as the daughter of Afghan refugees. Madina holds a Master of Education in School Counseling and a B.A. in Public Relations/Communication, both from George Mason University. 

Rob Callus 
is a Switchboard Training Officer with a focus on Community Integration. He has prior experience working with refugees for World Relief in Durham, NC, where he managed a youth services program funded in part by the Refugee School Impact and Refugee Youth Mentoring grants. He has worked in global health and considers himself to be a lifelong educator. Rob speaks Swahili and Spanish, and he is ESL-certified for both adults and youth. 

Hourly Schedule

Session 1

4:00 - 5:00
Session 1
4:00–5:00 PM EDT/1:00–2:00 PM PDT  
6:30 - 7:30
Session 2
6:30–7:30 PM EDT/3:30–4:30 PM PDT


Sep 07 2022

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