Campus News

Video: Students Commit to Tutoring Refugee and Immigrant Children

Story posted March 27, 2012

A Multi-year Commitment: Volunteering at the Portland Housing Authority from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

Since she was a first year, senior Christina Matulis '12 has been volunteering at the Kennedy Park study center, an after-school space in Portland where elementary, junior and high school students can do their homework, draw, or receive tutoring from volunteers. Kennedy Park is a public-housing complex in which a large percentage of the students are refugees or immigrants from Sudan, Somalia, Cambodia and other countries. And a large percentage of the study center volunteers are Bowdoin students.

Matulis says in the past four years, she's seen increasing numbers of Bowdoin students committing to the Kennedy Park tutoring program, which she currently coordinates as part of Bowdoin's Volunteer Corps, one of nearly 30 student-run service organizations. Janice Jaffe, the McKeen Center for Common Good's associate director for community-based courses and research, says this trend reflects many Bowdoin students' deepening curiosity about and involvement with immigrant and refugee issues in Maine and elsewhere.

The video captures a typical evening at the busy study center.

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