The Spero Project
for February 4, 2019
Our latest update comes from our partners at The Spero Project, a non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City that partners with the resettled refugee community to ensure every new neighbor has access to tangible assistance and meaningful relationships essential to thriving in their city. In the Spring of 2016, Legacy Collective awarded a $25,000 grant to apply to their holistic and sustainable refugee resettlement program called, “The Common” which helps refugees in areas such as job search, housing procurement, educational transitions and tutoring, navigating social service and medical systems, citizenship and life skills.
Becoming Better Neighbors
We at the Spero Project have seen so much change and impact through the funding of the Legacy Collective Grant. This summer, we were able to host our Summer Program for kids in the resettled refugee community. This program is designed to spend a couple hours a week with dedicated focus towards retention of educational skills, and then spend quality time with the kids through playing games and sports together. This program occurred every Tuesday and Thursday evening during June, July and August. Because of the funding of the Legacy Collective Grant, we were able to provide snacks, drinks, educational activities, and games for the kids each night of the program. On average we had about 25 kids each evening.
Additionally, this summer we had 8 weekly adult English as a Second Language classes of varying levels taking place in homes, and in our classroom at an apartment complex in which about 90% of the tenants are resettled refugees. During the summer months, around 36-42 students per week participated in these classes.
We are excited to have kicked off our fall adult education classes in August. We currently have 5 adult ESL classes throughout the community. We also have 2 Citizenship classes and 1 History and Culture class taking place on a weekly basis. Across these classes, we have the pleasure of serving around 86 students each week and have 25 volunteers weekly meeting with students in classes and for tutoring.
Our remaining goals for this year include a continued development of educational support for the refugee community, both for children and adults. We are looking to organize mentorship opportunities to be available for middle and high school students. Our dream is to convert a space in the apartment complex to be used specifically for educational assistance and mentorship for these students. For adult education, we see a great need in terms of learning to navigate buying homes. We are in the process of organizing a class specifically focusing on home buying and the process of getting a home loan. Our final goal is to assist in the legal process of becoming citizens for those who have been in the US for five years. We have 23 students currently attending the Citizenship classes this semester, and we hope to see them through the citizenship process in the coming year.
Lastly, we are committed as an organization and as individuals to advocate for our friends during a politically tumultuous and uncertain time. Looking ahead to fiscal year 2020 with low refugee resettlement numbers expected, we are committed to advocating for an increased ceiling of resettlement while also supporting the everyday lives of our neighbors already resettled to Oklahoma City. We truly know our neighbors to be the bravest people and our dearest teachers and are grateful for your support to welcome them well.