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.
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:
- Help your students gain a better understanding of the refugee crisis and what it means to be a refugee with our lesson, “Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis,” which features Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations (2013–2017).
- Then explore our lesson, “The Refugee Crisis and Human Responsibility” to examine the moral and legal questions this crisis raises about our responsibilities to each other as human beings.
- Read this reflective blog post, “Why Study Migration? Because It’s the Story of Humankind,” about the importance of understanding migration patterns and where we came from.
Explore more stories about refugees from Listenwise:
- Learn about the experiences of a political refugee from Somalia who came to the United States in 2006.
- Listen to hear about an experience that provides people with insight into what it’s like to be a refugee.
- Learn about the Syrian refugees and debate America’s responsibility in this issue.
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!