Kent students end summer refugee transition program with informational walk

Students and their families who participated in the Kent School District
Students and their families who participated in the Kent School District's Refugee Transition Center Summer Program fill up the office of Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas during a Aug. 17 visit.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

About 75 Kent students from kindergarten to high school juniors participated in a 2.4-mile walk Aug. 17 as part of the Kent School District's Refugee Transition Center Summer Program.

The students and their families walked with Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas from the center at the Kent Phoenix Academy to the district administration office to familiarize themselves with the support and resources available at the district headquarters.

More than 130 languages are spoken by students in the district. More than 600 students from 20 countries have attended the Refugee Transition Center since it opened in 2007, according to a Kent School District media release.

The center provides assistance for families from testing and enrolling children into the district to providing after-school tutoring. Most of the adults working at the RTC are volunteers.

Countries represented at the recent summer program included Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Burma (Chin, Karen, Karennyi, Burmese), Nepal/Bhutan, Somalia, Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Vietnam.

The students were from the following schools Scenic Hill, Panther Lake, Meadow Ridge, Meridian Elementary, Meridian Middle, Mill Creek, Meeker, Kentridge and Kent-Meridian.

Student volunteers from Kentwood, Kentridge, Kent-Meridian as well as Washington State University and Western Washington University assisted at the center.

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