Parent Programs

The Refugee Development Center has experience in the following (past and current) programs for parents:


    • Parent Orientations: Designed to give parents the tools to help their children succeed in their new schools, these presentations to families newly-arrived in Lansing cover topics such as school rules and policies, after-school programming, and opportunities for parent involvement in the schools.
    • PALS (Parents as Leaders) Program: Many parents moving to the United States find themselves faced with unique parenting challenges in the form of parenting practices and expectations that differ from those of their home cultures. In this workshop, the RDC seeks to explore common parenting practices in participants’ home cultures, present some common American parenting strategies, and help parents learn to lean on the strengths of both their cultures of origin and their new culture as they seek to guide their children.
    • Parent Nights in the Lansing School District: Executed in partnership with the Lansing School District, these opportunities for parent involvement take place at each school which serves a significant bilingual population. Parent nights give parents an opportunity to visit their children’s schools, meet teachers and support staff, and participate in other English-language-learning and family literacy activities.
    • Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) Class: This English language-learning class is geared especially for new arrivals. In addition to English language acquisition, VESL also focuses on providing for newcomers’ basic needs.
    • Nutrition Education: In partnership with the Michigan Fitness Foundation, parents are offered several workshops utilizing Michigan Harvest of the Month curriculum designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and better acclimate to healthy food choices in the United States.
    • Women’s Sewing Circle: Offered in partnership with St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Sewing Circle is a place where newly arrived women gather each week. As they hone their craft and make clothing for their children, they also learn important lessons and receive critical interventions that assist them in feeling less isolated.


We are always in need of supplies for our programs! To see how you can help, check out our Wish List!

Click here for our Current Program Schedule.