By Kim Girard
Already struggling with meager federal budget allotments for ESL students, Mayberger scrambled, using money from a refugee grant to hire a local interpreter to translate for the families. Meantime, her teachers used the Internet to learn more about Somalia. Many of the soon-to-arrive teens had never held a pencil or a book, Mayberger says. Others’ parents had been killed.
“Some had had horrendous experiences,” she says, adding that her expectations, particularly for the older children, have had to be humble. “My goal is to give them enough English to get a job, to survive.”