Best Foot Forward

Bienvenidos. Karibu. Receber. Byenveni. Welcome.

These are just a few of the languages that students at Newcomers School in Greensboro, N.C. speak. Representing 34 countries, these are children, grades 3 through 11, from around the world who have moved to the United States with their families. These students will spend a year at Newcomers before transitioning into a traditional American school.

Check out the video interview and read the story to see how you can be a part of impacting the lives of children from around the world who are now making their home right here in N.C.

Let’s help students from around the world put their best foot forward in their new home.

Representing 34 countries, these students, grades 3rd through 11th, are from around the world who have moved to the United States with their families. These students will spend a year at Newcomers before transitioning into a traditional American school.

These students will spend a year at Newcomers before transitioning into a traditional American school.

“Children are coming from all around the world, most of them learning English for the first time. We try our best to implement as many language skills as we can—skills that will help students and families become self-sufficient,” said Angel Katona, Social Worker, Newcomers School.

Children often arrive at Newcomers within days of arriving to the United States. Their parents are still seeking employment and are often without transportation.

“We see families that have trouble finding housing, clothes, and food. So we work with organizations so we can support our families. Every little bit helps and is a big part of getting kids here playing. We need to hook up with other organizations,” said Louis Galiotti, Principal, Newcomers School.

And that’s just what Samaritan’s Feet wants to do. Samaritan’s Feet hopes to place a Shoe Locker of 450 pairs of shoes at Newcomers School so that students always have a pair of properly fitting athletic shoes. So that kids will feel comfortable and confident in their new home.

“The kids that come in with shoes that are too small or worn, you’ll notice them being a little stand-off-ish. We deal a little bit with attendance issues here at Newcomers and a lot of that plays into kids being self-conscious. If our students have shoes, they can play and have fun. But also, if we can get rid of some of that self-consciousness, I think it will help them with attendance and willingness to come to school,” said Galiotti.

Since students are just arriving to the United States, many come off the bus wearing cleats or worn sandals, and this is the first time they’re experiencing different weather, cultures, and school.

“Most of our students come from tropical climates and aren’t prepared for cooler temperatures or seasonal changes. Many of the kids arrive here in flip flips or sandals and have never even worn a pair of closed-toe shoes. Then if the weather starts changing or they have P.E. class, the need for shoes becomes very evident,” said Katona.

Galiotti recalls a student who came into his office just to show off her Crocs: She was excited about them. She was happy and happier kids tend to learn better. They’re willing to take chances. Because a kid has a nice pair of shoes, and because he or she knows people care about them might be a reason he comes to school.

Samaritan’s Feet believes and has seen that a pair of shoes can have great impact. It can give hope for the opportunity for a better life.

“Any little thing that we can do that will allow a kid to come to school and access their education will be far better than the things that we don’t do. It can make their life better,” said Galiotti.

Katona added, “Having good shoes is a confidence booster and it can encourage students to continue coming to school and putting their best foot forward.”

Are you ready to help Newcomers students? Donate below to help fund their shoe locker!