K-12 Programs

The SPACE Project

The SPACE (Schools, Parents and Communities Engaged) Project provides mentoring and academic support for school-aged children, while offering training opportunities to the near-adults (parents and teachers) to ensure school success. The diagram below helps our parents and schools visualize CAIRO’s impacts agenda and a bold theory of change, emphasizing the big picture of what it takes to improve outcomes for our African immigrants’ youths in Oregon’s public schools.

The focus on building the capacity for our K-12 programs reflects a belief that moving “the small gear” is critical to achieve a collective impact. We emphasize that addressing one outcome (e.g., higher graduation rates) in an attempt to improve outcomes for our youths requires the engagements and thus the support of both parents and wider communities. Doing this requires commitments to new partnership structures designed to support the collective seeing and learning needed for schoolteachers and leaders to arrive at solutions that break down all forms of barriers for refugee youths and families’ success.

The STEAM Project

Special Education students oftentimes go to intervention classes in place of arts classes (technology, art, music, etc). The same also applies to students performing below grade-level in math and reading. This can mean a missed opportunity for engaging these students in a meaningful way.  CAIRO’s STE(A)M program was created to address the particular need among the African immigrant and refugee (AIR) students for additional resources in STE(A)M. This means both addressing their academic needs and providing them with exposure and paths to STE(A)M careers. These additional resources combine the strengths of both Western STE(A)M knowledge (the societal context in which these students are learning and living) and the African knowledge systems (the cultural resource these students have particular access to). Moreover, that intersection itself is emphasized, allowing us to capture the power of diverse modes of students’ understanding.

The oldest known surgical treatise on trauma, written in Egypt around 1600 BCE.

Oregon Youth RISE Project

The Refugee and Immigrant Social Enterprise for the youth seeks to integrate positive youth social and emotional learning, with community engagement, and entrepreneurial workforce skills. Numerous studies show that today’s young people are highly motivated to generate positive social change (Lewis, 2016; Punadi and Rizal, 2017). We believe that social entrepreneurship has great potential to mobilize our youth to engage in efforts to achieve major social objectives, including employment creation, poverty reduction, inclusion and integration. The Oregon Youth RISE seeks to instill a sense of agency, build social capital and equip our youths with resilience and skills necessary to sustain effective action and critical engagement in our community and beyond.