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Refugee Education Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Education aims to integrate and assimilate refugee students into the public school system. Pennsylvania's Refugee Education Program offers advocacy for a special population of students and parents who otherwise may not have supports. The Department provides technical assistance and facilitates districts' capacity to:

  • Connect to the appropriate refugee resettlement agency in the surrounding areas
  • Identify refugee students at enrollment
  • Record the achievement of refugee students so that they may contribute to increasing the overall achievement of the district
  • Provide a free and appropriate education for refugee students in the least restrictive environment
  • Facilitate policy, requirements, procedures and activities by providing translators and interpreters in the native languages for refugee families
  • Link refugee students to supportive programs within the district to help them achieve academic and social-emotional integration
  • Work with community-based organizations to support refugee youth
  • Encourage refugee parents to engage in the education of their children
  • Value and use the diversity that exists within the refugee community to prepare all students for global service and leadership


Resources for Teachers

​On Social Skills Programs

On Refugee Children Teaching Materials

Children's Books

  • From Far Away, Robert Munsch
  • One day we had to run: Refugee children tell their stories in words and paintings, Sybella Wilkes
  • Refugees: A resource book for primary schools, Jill Rutter
  • The other side of the truth, Beverly Naidoo
  • Who belongs here? An American story, Mary Burns Knight
  • Who belongs here? Teacher's guide, Mary Burns Knight and Thomas V. Chan
  • Why do they have to fight? Refugee children's stories from Bosnia, Kurdistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka, Jill Rutter and Mano Candappa
  • Enrique's Journey, Sonia Nazario


Joseph J. Eye, M.Ed. | Refugee School Impact State Coordinator
PA Department of Education |Bureau of School Support |Division of Student Services
717-783-3755 |