Education Unbound, NuMinds Launch STEAM Enrichment Pilot for Refugee Students

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Pilot kicks off long-term training plan, study of connection between support and well-being

Education Unbound, a nonprofit organization with a mission to build up STEAM in education, and NuMinds Enrichment, an innovative provider of engaging, mixed-age STEAM programs, will launch a new pilot program bringing after-school STEAM enrichment to 25 refugee children, beginning on February 5.

The two organizations will partner with PAIR (Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees), which empowers youth to navigate American society, reach their academic potential, and ultimately become community leaders, to administer the program.

Over the next three months, students in grades 6, 7, and 8 will challenge themselves with mixed-age STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) programming.

Armed with funding from a recent GlobalGiving campaign at the end of last year that used art to tell individual refugee stories in the hope of sparking empathy, Education Unbound, and NuMinds set out to expand STEAM enrichment for refugees and immigrants in the form of the pilot. After a rigorous search for the right partner at the end of last year, Weeda Hamdan, Education Unbound co-founder and the artist behind the GlobalGiving campaign, said they landed on Houston-based PAIR as an ideal recipient and partner.

Currently established in three schools, PAIR has a proven infrastructure with access to transportation and staff both willing to learn NuMinds’ unique educational programming and excited about investing in the long-term sustainability of the approach.

Beyond the pilot, Education Unbound plans to kick off a longitudinal study to examine the link between educational enrichment in childhood and well-being in adulthood for refugee people. Through observations and assessments from teachers and students involved in the program, Education Unbound, in collaboration with PAIR, will observe how baseline performance indicators change over time.

The hypothesis? Access to quality enrichment may be the most cost-effective way to challenge inequity.

“We believe that exposure to high-quality, subject-integrated STEAM Enrichment provides learning opportunities students don’t encounter in a traditional classroom,” Hamdan said. “More importantly, a refugee child exposed to experiential learning allows him or herself to be fully engaged because the teaching is directed to the child as a whole. This methododology is important when dealing with a child who has been through trauma-- reigniting the passion for learning and sparking the ability to believe in him or herself can cultivate the character traits closely associated with positive long-term outcomes.”

Those traits include resilience, divergent thought, mental flexibility, critical thinking, emotional and social awareness, collaboration, and creativity. All key characteristics often hailed for success in 21st-century jobs– and likely a crucial difference in the long-term outcome for many of today’s refugee children.

These children are grappling with more than just a need to excel in future careers – they’re struggling to overcome severe trauma, discrimination, and abuse, which means it takes the right kind of support to engage the students.

NuMinds programming, which is anchored by creative, relatable narratives, can transcend cultural barriers and offer a holistic program that blends critical thinking, empathy, and problem-solving, growing as the students grow.

For example, in after-school enrichment, students will Count Down to 2030, and ask themselves exhilarating questions, like: Who flies the rocket that takes your family to Lunar Disney World? Or Who is the referee for zero gravity soccer? In the spring, while school is on break, students will be invited to take a Spring Brain Break--a program that sparks passion, play, and problem-solving -- but on an epic scale -- and brain-teasing problems with a twist.

Education Unbound and NuMinds will need others to join them in the quest to uplift refugee children and expand the pilot into sustainable programming and provable research. Visit GlobalGiving at globalgiving.org/ projects/uprooted/ to make a donation, or learn more about how NuMinds is igniting a passion for STEAM at https://numindsenrichment.com.

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About Education Unbound
Education Unbound, Texas-based non-profit, was founded with a two- pronged goal: to prepare students from underserved communities
for the Future of Work with a focus on STEAM education, thereby simultaneously increasing the supply of high-tech talent and lowering the impact of job losses due to automation. Education Unbound seeks to do this by:

1. Educating people on the need to prepare for the ever-evolving Future of Work.
2. Support Educational Institutions.
3. Collaborating with educational institutions to deliver dynamic opportunities for student instruction and qualification in a variety of settings, including after-school programs, as well as summer and holiday camps.

Exceptional support is given to cross-train candidates seeking to transition from industries with declining employment opportunities, as well as candidates who are living in rural US communities.

Education Unbound is a Tax Exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501 (c) (3).

Connect with Education Unbound:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EducationUnbound
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/educationunbound
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/educationunbound
CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/education-unbound

Media Contact: Cammie Pontillas info@educationunbound.org

About NuMinds Enrichment
Brilliant young minds don’t always get all the intellectual nutrition they need from their daily diet of school and extracurricular activities. Our co-founders were driven by the vision that NuMinds could provide a
layer of enrichment beyond the school day, where real, inspired learning creates the conditions for lifelong curiosity and self-development:

Real – our programs extend beyond basic academic needs into the realm of enrichment, where a learner’s authentic engagement with ideas, processes, and products is paramount.

Inspired – our programs derive from our own sense of inspiration and are focused on developing a learner’s own passions and interests.

Learning – our programs provide new knowledge, insight, and wisdom that is valuable to the learner’s and the world’s development and advancement.

Connect with NuMinds Enrichment:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nu_Minds
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA4UDaMQs7kx4Aa0uS7isYw
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/numinds
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/numinds
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NuMindsEnrichment

Media Contact: Janet Schaefer janet@numien.com

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