Local News


Dozens of refugees starting school in Clark County

Posted at 7:12 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 22:12:31-04
Dozens of refugees from all over Africa are now part of the Clark County School District, and many are learning English for the first time. 
"Imagine what it means to take you to Africa and no one is speaking English what would you speak?" said Rachael Uwimana, with the Clark County School District.
Snyder Elementary School is the home of many of the refugees.
"They've all spent anywhere from 12-24 months in refugee camps in Africa. Some of them have had some formal schooling, some have had none at all," said Snyder Elementary School principal, Jenne Haynal.
Teachers are using Google translate and flash cards to help with the communication, but it's the kids who are really putting in the work.
"It's so difficult to adapt on everything. The weather, food. Now when it comes to school the whole environment looks upside down," Uwimana said.
Luckily, their classmates are helping out and are even a little protective.
"There have been times when I've maybe corrected a behavior, and they're like, hey he can't speak Ms. Haynal, he can't speak English," Haynal recalls.
This is now the second year Snyder has received so many refugees, and they can already see what a difference it's making.
"They open their eyes then they see they are important people in this world and they show them that they have a future in their hands," Uwimana said.