Article Contributed by
Rotary Club of Jamestown
Tamu Reinhardt was introduced to members of the Rotary Club of Jamestown by Amy Rohler. Ms. Reinhardt is the Coordinator of Family & Community Engagement (FACE) and Inclusivity for the Jamestown City School District. FACE and Inclusivity is expanding family, community and business partnerships designed to increase engagement and have a positive impact on student achievement. In addition, she oversees the English as a New Language program, is in the process of developing an Equity and Inclusion plan and working to develop a dual language program at Love Elementary School. Mrs. Reinhardt also acts as the district liaison for recently resettled families through Journey’s End.
Reinhardt graduated from Jamestown High School, received a B.A. in Spanish Education from the University of Buffalo and a Master of Arts in Public Relations from Ball University. She holds a NYS School District Administration Certification and a Cornell University Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion.
Mrs. Reinhardt spoke about refugee programs and technology available to students and adults in Jamestown. She shared current demographic information at Jamestown High School (JHS). JHS has students speaking seven different languages. It is projected that the Hispanic population will decline, and the Asian Population will increase. Economic conditions, climate change, authoritarian governments, and gangs prompt immigration. Mrs. Reinhardt shared that some of our refugees are working but to increase hours they need to learn English. Refugees are very grateful to be here; they really want to work. Just because people don’t speak English doesn’t mean they don’t understand it. It takes 1-3 years to be comfortable to speak our language and it takes 7-9 years to be literate. Please visit the Rotary website at www.jamestownnyrotary.org and view this program in its entirety.
Mrs. Reinhardt gave thanks to Rotary for its donation of earbuds for JHS students. These earbuds are primarily used for those who have no English language skills. They come with an APP for learning which translates English into the language needed by the student. There are many electronic translation options available. JHS immigrant students really want to learn our language.
English classes for adults have begun and will be held twice weekly with more classes scheduled to begin. Workforce readiness will be the focus of day classes. As an aside, she shared that in Jamestown there is a lost generation not attending schools at all.