BGISD holds meet and greet for Teranga Academy

Teranga academy hosts meet and greet for families, potential employers
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Bowling Green Independent School District held a meet and greet with the Teranga Academy partners in person. Luma Mufleh and Emily Futransky from the Fugees Family, Inc. met with families and potential employees at the district office Monday.

Bowling Green Independent Schools, in partnership with the Fugees Family, Inc. will open Teranga Academy Bowling Green in August 2022.

The Teranga Academy will support teens and their families who are new to the United States and to American schools by providing up to three years of competency-based English immersion programming.

The Fugees Family, Inc. has a 15-year track record of working with refugee students in school settings, and they are the only network of U.S. schools dedicated to refugee education. Fugees Family schools are built for and by refugees and immigrants, and they have refined a successful model– centering students and their families in their approach to education.

In opening Teranga Academy, Bowling Green Independent Schools will become the first public school district in America to partner with the Fugees Family, Inc. for this expansion. In secondary schools across the United States, refugee teens are not given equitable access to education based on a one-size-fits-all-model practiced in grades 6-12.

Fugees Family Founder and CEO Luma Mufleh says, “Giving our sixth grade students sixth grade textbooks that they couldn’t possibly understand wouldn’t be compassionate or a vote of confidence. It would be setting them up for failure. Teaching them that there is no shame in being a beginner and that acquiring a complex skill requires starting with the basics is a way to show belief in our students.”

Starting in August 2022, the Teranga Academy will be open to Bowling Green Junior High and Bowling Green High School students who have been in the United States for three years or less, are multilingual, and have had their formal education interrupted.

The students will participate in one of three levels at the academy for a maximum of three academic years. The Teranga Academy will be an English immersion program, focused on transitioning to a new country with trauma-informed practices and culturally responsive teaching. Courses will also include music, art, American culture, and the program will use recreational soccer to build community among the students.

The goal of the Teranga Academy Level One will be for students to reach at least a third grade proficiency level in reading, writing, math and English language. The students will be taught by elementary-certified teachers, with fundamentals of reading and writing and early math skills.

Teranga Academy teaching positions are currently posted on the district website. Training for these teachers will be provided throughout the summer by the Fugees Family, Inc.

The district is also currently working to identify potential BGHS and BGJHS students who may choose to participate in the Teranga Academy in the fall. Enrollment will be optional for current students, and an event will be scheduled in April to introduce families and students to new opportunities provided.

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