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Promising Practices

Welcoming America has collected an archive of promising practices from the field. Filter by sector or strategy to find promising practices used by organizations to build support and welcome for refugees.

Dayton Public Schools (DPS) in Dayton, Ohio has established a number of efforts to help refugee children with academic performance and socialization.   Recognizing that newcomer children often struggle in their transition to U.S. schools, DPS has established a Welcome Center and individualized mentoring and tutoring with community volunteers, with the goal to smooth their transition and help them thrive. It’s a reciprocal relationship, for refugee students enrich the lives of their mentors, as much as the mentors help them.

In Logan, Utah – about 1-1/2 hours outside Salt Lake City – a group of caring residents became aware that refugees in the relatively sparsely populated Cache Valley were mostly fending for themselves, drawn to the community by opportunities to work in the local meatpacking plant. Cache Refugee & Immigrant Connection (CRIC) was formed by a group of volunteers who wanted to help their new neighbors and hoped to build understanding and friendships among refugees and valley residents. 

In September 2013, National Welcoming Week – a nationwide event led by Welcoming America – inspired grassroots activities in Iowa’s Cedar Valley to educate community members about the growing number of refugees from Burma living in Waterloo, and to stimulate widespread engagement in creating a more welcoming community.

The Coalition for Refugee Resettlement (CRR) matches Virginia Tech students with refugees from Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq.

An independent, entirely student-run organization, CRR builds relationships with refugee families and gives student volunteers an opportunity for a hands-on community experience. Students provide in-home tutoring – everything from serving as mentors to providing homework help for kindergartners through high school students, and helping adults learn English and prepare for their naturalization exams.

Above: Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter meets with local gardeners

At block parties around planting and harvest times, entire neighborhoods in south Philly come together to share in produce, cooking and other cultural activities, like music and dancing. Indeed, Growing Home Gardens has even caught the attention of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who attended a recent block party, lauding gardeners’ contributions to the community.