Bridging the Opportunity Divide

A Dream Curriculum for Immigrant Students

February 14, 2018
A Dream Curriculum for Immigrant Students
Maura Friedman, Thomas Shomaker, Sean Ryon
Five years' worth of language is taught during a single school year.

Searching for a better life, Miguel Gonzalez’s family brought him to Dalton, Ga., from Guerrero, Mexico, as a child.

“My whole life in this country has been uncertain as far as my immigration status,” says Gonzalez.

Despite this, Gonzalez thrived. He attended college, landed a job as a teacher, and in 2012, became a “Dreamer” through the Obama administration’s establishment of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Now, Gonzalez tries to help kids from similar circumstances through the Newcomer Academy, an English language program for Spanish-language students grades six and up.

As politicians negotiate the future of DACA, these children need a place to process their feelings about their immigration status. Watch the video above to see how the Newcomer Academy and teachers like Gonzalez go beyond simply acclimating immigrant children to the American school system by creating an environment where they can feel successful and thrive.