Austin elementary school raises money for Afghan refugee kids
A South Austin elementary school's thrift sale is aimed at collecting goods for an influx of Afghan refugees who have settled in the area, displaced from a homeland 8,000 miles away.
The big picture: Nestled in a greenway by Big Stacy Pool, Travis Heights Elementary School has enrolled more than 56 Afghan children since the start of the school year — a record for the campus.
- It's not unusual to see kids wearing traditional Afghan garb as they hang from monkey bars on the school playground.
What they're saying: "All of these children and their families relocated to Austin and are starting completely from scratch," said Anna Roth, a Travis Heights parent and PTA volunteer who helps put together the Thunderbird Thrift sale at the school.
What they're doing: The school is hiring bilingual parents as substitute teachers "to ease the transition of kids, and as a way for new parents to earn income," Roth tells Axios.
- Otherwise, she said, it's sometimes up to third and fourth graders to translate.
- Pashto signage now appears in the food lines.
- Of note: The district's refugee support service team facilitates interpretation for kids in at least 18 languages.
What to donate: You can drop clothes for all ages, housewares, furniture, electronics, books, toys, sports equipment and baby gear. All donations can be brought to the school campus today.
How it works: The thrift sale charges garage sale prices, and disadvantaged students are sent home with coupons so their families can buy what they need.
Zoom out: The school district currently has 947 refugee or asylum students, Eduardo Villa of Austin ISD tells Axios.
Flashback: We wrote about Austin ISD's preparations for Ukrainian refugees.
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