Refugee Children (02:48)
The International Rescue Committee's summer academy prepares immigrant children to enter the New York City public school system in the fall. James Lenton and Elizabeth Demchak welcome the class on the first day. (Credits)
Escaping Tibet (02:57)
Tashi, a peer counselor, introduces herself to the new students. Tashi and Rigzin's parents carried them across the Himalayas to attend school in India. The family lived apart while in India, but recently relocated to New York City— Rigzin describes the adjustment process.
Escaping Togo (03:35)
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, an award-winning Broadway musical director, volunteers at IRC. Jennifer and Ida moved to America to live with their parents. They were excited to meet their baby sister, only to discover she had died in a fire.
Week Two (02:19)
Children vote for the leaders of their student government. Teachers try to mimic skills at the academy that will lead to success when the pupils enter the public school system. Louise Beryl confronts a student who crumpled up his ballot.
A New Pupil (02:04)
Kristen Downey meets with a family who wants to enroll their daughter in the summer school program. After filling out the paperwork Sun joins the other students in the class. The teacher discovers that she is still learning the alphabet, but suspects that Sun will adjust nicely.
Immigrating from Thailand (02:00)
Because Helen's mother was born in Burma, the family was placed in a refugee camp without a school. When she was 14, she went to the governmental office and requested a job. The administration gave her a job of checking off names in a soccer field at night.
Escaping from Liberia (03:54)
George's grandfather was shot and killed during the violence and his mother died two years ago. He currently lives with his grandmother in Staten Island and travels four and half hours every day to attend IRC. Demchak and Lenton describe the external pressures facing George and that IRC is a safe haven.
Week Three (03:25)
A teacher cautions two students about copying and explains how to make their homework unique. Ousman escaped from Liberia and wants to become a soldier. Lenton describes how difficult it is for students from West African nations to adjust to a school environment because they participated in violence in their countries of origin.
Expelled from Bhuta (04:26)
Tek Nath spent the 15 years of his life in a Nepali refugee camp. He handles the financial and governmental paperwork for his family. Deborah Kraus regrets having financial discussions with 15-year-olds but explains that most are the only members of the family who speak English.
Week Four (04:39)
Magdee, a Christian Egyptian, becomes friends with Ohmeed, an Iraqi Muslim. Demchak creates a spelling bee championship. Ida wins after spelling correctly metamorphosis.
Week Five (02:34)
Lenton describes how tense the students are because they will be starting a new school shortly. Demchak confronts two students who fought in the hallway. IRC travels to Coney Island for a field trip.
Week Six (04:26)
Lenton wants to create a year-round school for refugee students in New York City. At graduation, the children perform "Seasons of Love" and Helen and Tek Nath deliver speeches. Learn where the subjects of the documentary now attend college.
Credits: Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World (00:47)
Credits: Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World
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