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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Kelly Denison, Class of 2014

Educating Burmese Parents of Elementary School Students, Who Are Newcomers to Nashville, About Metro Nashville Public Schools
Ten years ago, twenty-one Burmese refugees were resettled in Tennessee. In 2012, the yearly total of Burmese refugees resettled had grown to over three hundred (Office of Refugee Resettlement, 2014). The Burmese population is an impoverished and underserved population who has had very little, if any, access to education in their home country and refugee camps. World Relief is a resettlement agency dedicated to working with refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tennessee. The purpose of this residency project was to develop educational materials that World Relief can use to teach newly arrived Burmese refugee parents.

The materials consist of three voice-over PowerPoints about general school information, parent involvement, and school readiness strategies for parents to prepare their children for school. Supplemental materials including pre-test, post-test, and handouts which were also created to enhance learning. These materials are designed for elementary school parents, about Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and how to get involved in their children’s education. The main goal of this project was to prepare these parents for the transition they will face as their children enter school and empower parents by providing them with the information they deserve. The project was completed in four phases: research, generation, piloting, and modification. Each phase was critical in the development of the materials and helped improve the quality and specificity of the materials. By providing this information to parents, the hope is that it will help eliminate anxieties by giving them the knowledge and tools necessary to support their children during this transition.

Kelly Denison, Resident


School of Occupational Therapy
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