Release date: Dec. 14, 2004

National Program Pairs Student Tutors With Elderly Immigrants

Emory students are among those taking part in a new, nationwide service-learning initiative that pairs U.S. college students with elderly immigrants and refugees who want to learn English--for many, a step on the path to U.S. citizenship.

Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders) gives Emory students the opportunity to put their classroom knowledge to work while connecting to some of Atlanta's immigrant communities. Emory's chapter launched in October as an initiative of the university's Office of University Community Partnerships and was developed in conjunction with Georgia Perimeter College, a local community college. Emory is one of 18 colleges and universities across the country with SHINE programs, including University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, several schools in California and Temple University, where the program is based.

Nearly half a million immigrants live in metro Atlanta, and Emory's chapter is working with many different international populations, including Latinos, Asians and Africans. The majority of SHINE tutoring so far has been done at the Latin American Association and the Clarkston Community Center, the latter located near Emory's campus in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the country, including a large African refugee population.

For at least two hours a week for 10 weeks, SHINE volunteers are coaches for English and civics lessons. While Emory students participated in Project SHINE this fall as volunteers, some spring semester courses in Spanish and possibly in Hindi and Chinese will incorporate the program into the curriculum.

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Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For nearly two decades Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nine schools, the university encompasses The Carter Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, the state's largest and most comprehensive health care system.

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