Ripton kids help refugee family
RIPTON — This fall, as part of their “Where We Are in Place and Time” unit of inquiry, Ripton Elementary School 5th & 6th graders read the book “Refugee” by Alan Gratz. Simultaneously, the school community learned of an amazing opportunity: to connect their learning from this difficult yet facts-based depiction of the circumstances and struggles of three refugee children from different parts of the world in different times of crisis, to those of a present-day migrant family.
Equally as important, they came up with a way to help. They heard from an MUHS alumna Meg Young, a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice, about a family from Honduras facing similar circumstances and who are seeking asylum in Portland, Maine. Ripton Elementary School 5th & 6th graders are collecting donations to help offset the legal fees required for this family to secure asylum.
Santa Ana (whose full name is withheld for her safety) and her 11-year-old daughter Genesis fled Honduras to escape death threats from a large drug cartel that controls San Pedro del Sul where Genesis grew up. They traveled on foot and by bus all the way from Honduras to the Mexican border, where they crossed into the U.S. and were detained by ICE. Thankfully, they were released together and now live in Portland, Maine. Santa Ana is an amazing cook and seamstress, and Genesis loves to read, draw, and play with her hosts’ cats.
Ripton Elementary students will be accepting donations through Nov. 2. Anyone wishing to contribute to this effort can make a donation to Young, who is managing and overseeing these efforts. Donations can be mailed to PO Box 155 Ripton VT 05766) or dropped off at Ripton Elementary School.
Contact Ripton Elementary School Principal, Tracey Harrington, for more information.