Category Archives: Uncategorized

What does “home” mean to a refugee family fleeing war in Syria?

On the night of December 14th, Pam Prell sat in her minivan in the cellphone parking lot at Philadelphia International Airport, waiting for the arrival of the Dahans, a family of four, refugees from the war in Syria. As a representative of the Refugee Resettlement Ministry at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, she’d signed on to drive Sameer, Majidah, eight-year-old Ayman and Iman, almost 2, to temporary housing the church had found in Mt. Airy.

This story, told in images and music, documents the family’s first 90-days in the city.

“Are we going to be on the news?!!”

This summer I interviewgun-violence-fisted a number of Philadelphia public school teachers and kids for a series of audio slideshows that were featured at Need in Deed‘s September Teacher Soirée. Drove all over the city. Didn’t surprise me to hear the same message consistently: student-driven problem solving surpasses drill and kill learning every time. You can look at pie charts and analyze test data and . . . you can ask kids what they got out of a richly conceived, yearlong service-learning project. Want to hear the difference? Just listen to their enthusiasm!

You can hear teachers talk about their experience, as well. To underscore the points they made, we found research that supports the value of learning grounded in student voice. Makes for a more compelling story.