Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History: Refugee Children Found a Home in Dallas

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on August 31, 2017

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at a family in Dallas who has opened their home to refugees.

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Image licensed under CC BY 2.0

A young Dallas couple decided to open their doors to refugee children in the neighborhood. They don’t run a daycare or an afterschool program but host refugee children at their home for games, movies, and even homework. Alex and Laura Laywell, both 27, worked at an after-school program in the neighborhood and started to learn about the issues these teens face. Along with the normal teenage issues, these teens have different cultural backgrounds and family traditions.

The neighborhood of Vickery Meadow is a vibrant community of refugees and immigrants, people who have come to the United States to start their lives over. Many are immigrants from Latin America. Then refugees from Iraq and Africa began to be resettled and now mostly Burmese and Bhutanese families.

Alex and Laura’s home became a popular place for kids in this diverse neighborhood. As practicing Christians, they say it’s their duty to help others and they want to provide as many opportunities for these teens as possible. Alex says he gets as much from the kids as the kids get from them, and these teens have shaped every aspect of their lives. Listen to this story to hear how this family began helping refugee children and what kind of impact they have on their community.

Join the conversation:

What are the different challenges that refugee children have to deal with? What are some of the things that the Laywells do with the teens in this neighborhood? In what ways do you think Alex and Laura, as well as these teens, are benefitting from this community? What are ways that you can promote a welcoming community where you live?

Keep the conversation going with Facing History’s resources:

Explore more stories about refugees from Listenwise:

Listenwise helps teachers use public radio stories in their classrooms. To find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free Listenwise account!



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Topics: Today's News Tomorrow's History, current events, Listenwise

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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