How might we serve immigrant children as they transition to life in the United States?


From late February through the end of March 2019, our elementary school heroes (our term for students) are taking on the following Quest:

How might we serve immigrant children as they transition to life in the United States?

Image via  Presencia

Image via Presencia

Our elementary heroes (our term for students) will play the roles of advocates for children of immigrants and that of U.S. Ambassadors. They will meet (virtually) five children who immigrated to the US from: Sierra Leone, South Korea, India, Ukraine, and Mexico. They will use design thinking 1) to reflect deeply on the stories, needs, and pain points and 2) to design a prototype solution for each child. Ultimately they will create something (what, we do not know) for the children to help them on their journey—specific to their pain points.

The heroes will spend time understanding the culture of these children through studies of place.

At Exhibition on March 28, groups of  heroes will present their final prototype, intended to help each child as s/he transitions to life in America.  

Heroes will also describe the part of the world their partner-child comes from. They will be given feedback and will be scored on the prototype they create for the child—how effective it is, how well it meets his/her specific needs, and how accurately and persuasively it represents the child’s culture of origin.

We hope you’ll save the date—March 28—and join us at Exhibition.

Exhibition visitors will interact at various stations, learn about life as a child in a different part of the world through all five senses, learn about the children of immigrants (specific to the children we’ve focused on), and learn where those immigrants tend to live in the US now and why.

Throughout this Quest, heroes will meet and collaborate with the following experts: Immigrants, Nonprofit leaders working with refugees, and Nonprofit leaders defending immigrant rights.

In terms of the kind of work they’ll do, this Quest includes multiple work modalities including:

  • Conducting empathy interviews

  • Conducting research

  • Prototyping solutions, seeking feedback, and improving prototypes

  • Analyzing root causes and synthesizing key statistics

  • Building and presenting prototypes

  • Fielding live Q&A

This Quest is designed to cultivate our learners’ curiosity, storytelling, critical thinking, creativity, empathy, intercultural competence, collaboration, and social capital.

We are so grateful to partner with Presencia in Brookhaven for idea sharing and relationship building. Presencia is a neighborhood based program that provides tutoring, mentoring, and leadership development in Atlanta's immigrant community.  

Follow the Quest online at @forestschoolPF!

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen