Sep 5, 2016

Community Partners Spotlight: Christian Friends of New Americans

IPE 4900 and 4905 have the pleasure of working with various community organizations in the St. Louis area. In 4900, Interprofessional Community Practicum Experience, our students are put into interprofessional groups and assigned to a community agency that is related to health promotion and wellness. Students then spend the semester visiting and developing a project addressing a specific need the site sees beneficial to their organization as well as being relevant to their mission statement. The focus of 4905, Interprofessional Practicum Experience, is for students to take weekly visits at practicum sites interacting with health professionals, patients, and interprofessional teams in a clinical setting. Students individually attend clinical sites where they observe individual patient care and outcomes as well as gaining perspective on how different interprofessional teams function.

The Community Coordinator and Graduate Student Worker, Jessica Barreca and Jourdan Howard, overseeing IPE 4900 spent this summer visiting community partners preparing for this upcoming semester. Currently, we have more than 30 wonderful community partners working with our students helping make these two courses possible. We asked these ladies to spotlight one community partner that has been an incredible help to the St. Louis community as well as the IPE department this year and years past…

Congratulations to Christian Friends of New Americans (CFNA) on being in our Community Partners Spotlight!

Christian Friends of New Americans (CFNA) is a huge organization that has countless programs helping connect immigrants and refugees living in the St. Louis area. Their mission statement is, “Next door or across town, Christian Friends of New Americans links you with opportunities to connect with immigrants and refugees living in the St. Louis region. CFNA partners with local Lutheran congregations, schools, and individuals, NGOs and various grant-giving foundations to offer a range of programs and services for New Americans. We welcome you to learn more about CFNA and hope to see you get involved."

During the 2015 -16 school year, CFNA provided after school tutoring for 120 children from nine birth nations ranging in ages 5 to 18. The after school program provides tutoring and homework assistance with an emphasis on reading skills, chapel, snack, and physical activity, but also provides a safe place for kids to have fun!

IPE 4900 has worked specifically with Pastor Stanish Stanley, our site coordinator, for CFNA’s after-school tutoring program since 2014. The most recent IPE 4900 project was entitled "Strike a Pose!" and their purpose was to, “Engage the refugee children in yoga and meditation to break the language barrier through the “common language” of movement and improve the mental health of the children."

This past August, children of refugee families from Afghanistan, Nepal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Nigeria received book bags from CFNA. These bags were filled with school supplies and the new students were given a CFNA after-school tutor. The after school tutoring program starts this month, September 16th, and is staffed with approximately 20 volunteers.

For more information or interest in volunteering with CFNA, please visit their website found here.

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