Students in ILC’s Older Refugee Program have a new favorite sport – bocce ball! They play in weekly tournaments with other seniors at the Washington Park Senior center where they also take part in citizenship classes with ILC’s Gina Palazzo.
Social integration with other seniors is part of the program at Washington Park, where refugee elders also participate in gardening, canoeing, and crafts. Gina explains: “They love playing bocce and the other seniors in the group truly enjoy their company in the game. The seniors have also been delighted at how skillful the ILC students are. They really are so good, especially for having never played! And there’s always a lot of laughter. William started the trend by playing with the group over the summer; the last couple of weeks before summer session ended other students began participating, and now most everyone looks forward to playing.”
ILC offers FREE Citizenship Classes for refugees age 60 or older.
Classes held at Washington Park Senior Center
4420 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee
Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday
9 – 11:00A.M.
Call ILC at 414-344-4777 for registration information.
At the lake, in the garden on the move… summer 2015.
Jay Ro helped out at the new Neighborhood House Garden Park on Earth Day 2015.
Neighborhood House and International Learning Center staff mourn the tragic loss of ILC student Jay Ro.
48-year-old Jay Ro was killed in his home early Thursday morning, June 26, when suspected armed robbers entered and threatened Ro’s 11-year-old son. Jay Ro, a former Cargill employee, attended a special ESL class for displaced workers. “He was a great student,” said instructor Michelle Martin, “great attendance, working hard in the computer lab, a real role model for everyone.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11AM on Saturday, July 4th at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 1445 N. 24th St. Milwaukee, WI 53205. Visitation at church will be from 9AM until time of Mass.
Burial will take place on Monday, July 6th at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7301 W. Nash St. Milwaukee, WI 53216 at 10AM.
Please meet at the cemetery office within the gate on Nash Street.
• Memorial donations will be accepted at St. Michael’s church on Saturday.
• International Learning Center will be collecting cash donations this week.
• Catholic Charities has set up a bank account for the family to cover the cost of the funeral:
Checks may be made out to
Jay Ro Memorial Fund
C/O Park Bank
330 East Kilbourn Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
If you are interested in making a donation online please contact ILC instructor Sally Kuzma
For refugees used to living off the land and being in close contact with nature, city life can be a difficult adjustment. Spending time in the forest is a way to relieve stress, renew self-confidence, and reconnect with essential elements of life.
ILC students and their families had several opportunities to explore the outdoors this spring. Field trips to Devil’s Lake for hiking and birding (part of a free monthly Family Adventures series), and to the Neighborhood House Nature Center in Dodge County for maple sugaring and garlic mustard picking were popular and well attended.
Interpreter Nang Kham provided key language support for speakers of Burmese, Karen, and other Myanmar languages, while Nature Center educators Christina Hill and Niki Espy helped interpreted what the birds and squirrels were saying and doing.
Students from Marquette’s nurse practitioner grad program gave a presentation on back care for International Learning Center students, with help from in-house interpreter Nang Kham. A show of hands quickly revealed that nearly everyone has had back issues – whether from jobs that require heavy lifting, carrying small children, or the stress and strain of everyday life. Freddie and Peter demonstrated stretching and proper lifting techniques, communicating across cultural and language barriers by keeping their language simple, using pictures, and showing how. ILC would definitely welcome them back again!
State Representative Christine Sinicki received a warm welcome at International Learning Center Tuesday April 21, 2015. Rep. Sinicki is drafting legislation to revise the state’s Minority Retention Grant to expand the pool of minorities eligible for this form of college financial aid to include all refugees (the grant was initially written to benefit refugees from the Viet Nam war specifically). ILC students met with legislators in Madison last month to advocate for changes to the aid program. Citizenship instructor Crystal Custalow briefed students on how to present their case, and has been following up with Sinicki’s office re drafting legislation.
At ILC Rep. Sinicki spoke with Hram Lian Kulh, a former ILC student who went on to study in the Associates program at MATC and questioned why Burmese refugees were not eligible for the minority scholarship there, a question that prompted ILC’s advocacy on this issue. Rep.Sinicki fielded questions from students concerned about changes to the FoodShare program; and asked for a show of hands of how many receive FoodShare benefits. Neighborhood Executive Director Jeff Martinka and ILC Instructional Coordinator Cynthia Zarazua led the tour.
Read more about ILC’s trip to Madison, and DONATE NOW to keep the momentum going on this project.