Children, Youth
& Family Services

The Children, Youth, & Family Services department empowers families to grow and thrive through a collection of resources and programs aimed at academic enrichment, advocacy, and parenting support.

The Children, Youth, & Family Services Department, known as CYF, is focused on providing activities specialized to children and youth.

CYF provides programming for pre-K through 12th-grade development, acculturation, academic support, and enrichment through a culturally competent lens by creating opportunities for positive peer experiences and leadership building. As ASIA’s oldest social services department, we arrange language-specific peer support groups for women, parenting education, and advocacy for refugee/immigrant parents of children and youth.

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CYF Programs

SUPPORTING FAMILIES THROUGH EVERY STAGE OF GROWTH

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ICEP

International Community Empowerment Project

Over the years, ICEP has served over 700 children grades kindergarten through 12th from over a dozen ethnic communities.

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Since its inception in 1995, the International Community Empowerment Project (ICEP) remains ASIA’s longest-running program. In its two-plus decades of existence, the program has helped thousands of children, and today the after school program serves 200-230 inner-city students from Akron Public Schools. They represent a diverse mix ethnicities including Burmese, Chinese, Karen, Nepali, Pakistani, and Thai.

For more information about ICEP, email Kelly Le.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Prevention & Partnership | Program Goals

This Akron-based prevention program is funded by the Summit County ADM Board whose mission is to defer the onset of violence, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (VATOD) among at risk immigrant children and youth as well as their families. With much of the outreach directed to families of limited English proficiency, living in inner-city communities, the program seeks to impact environmental risk factors that influence VATOD. Both The United Way of Summit and Medina Counties and the GAR Foundation offer additional funding in order to invest in the Greater Akron community to promote quality of life, education, and economic opportunities for its people.

In cooperation with certified prevention specialists from the Akron Health Department, students are educated on dangers of VATOD along with offering alternative healthy choices. ICEP is staffed with bilingual and bicultural educators who assist students in schoolwork with emphasis on reading and comprehension as well as facilitate the learning of social skills and critical thinking. Major prevention activities include performing short skits/vignettes, creating prevention posters, and participating in anti-drug and tobacco games. Multiple guest speakers including law enforcement officials demonstrate the risk of stranger danger and the importance of eduction in the pursuit of future careers.

ICEP aims to better educate and socialize students with the collaboration of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Physical Activity and Character Education (PACE), the University of Akron’s Department of Education and Honor’s College, NEOMED, and returning ICEP graduates. The after school and summer programs serve 150-200 inner-city students from Akron Public Schools. They represent a diverse mix of ethnicities including Burmese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Karen, Nepali, Afghani, Pakistani, Arabic, Hispanic, and Congolese.

ICEP Plus | Program

ICEP Plus addresses the socio-emotional challenges confronted by limited English proficient refugee children (ages 14-19) as they transition to American culture. The program is based in North High School (Akron Public School) which has a large newcomer population. The program uses an adjusted Botvin Life Skills curriculum, a highly interactive, skills-based program designed to promote positive health and personal development for older teens. The Life Skills program utilizes developmentally appropriate, collaborative learning strategies to help students identify stressors, achieve competency in skills that have been shown to prevent substance use, violence, and build protective factors. Weekly meetings are held during ESL class and incorporated into curricular (writing, speaking English) and high school engagement expectations. Meetings provide interactive dialogue and experiences to gain knowledge and opportunities to practice what is learned in real time.

For more information on ICEP Plus please contact Kelly Le at kle@asiaohio.org

Video | Intro to ICEP & CAM
Brochure | ICEP Program Overview

Click brochure to view:

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CAM

Community Adult Mentoring

PROGRAM

The Community Adult Mentoring Program provides peer and adult mentoring to refugee and immigrant youth in grades K through 12.

Funded by the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cleveland, the Community Adult Mentoring Program (CAM) is for youth in grades K through 12. This program provides peer and adult mentoring to refugee and immigrant children in Cuyahoga County. Activities include tutoring and homework assistance, prevention education, problem identification, and referral services, and other alternative activities. The program runs throughout the school year and includes a summer camp.

ASIA’s West CAM Program in Lakewood City Schools, also known as the Asia Dream School, has been featured on Channel 3 News! View the story here. An evaluation report on the West CAM Program by an advanced sociology class at John Carroll University is also available to read here.

For more information including how to enroll your child, please contact Jeff Panik, Program Coordinator, at jpanik@asiaohio.org.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Asia Dream School | Music Video
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Due to decreased funding, our READY program is on hiatus. Please check back again for updates.

READY

PRE-K DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Summit County’s funders, policymakers, and community-based organizations have united towards collective impact to fundamentally improve the education system.

The READY program is a Kindergarten readiness program for immigrant and refugee families which seeks to strengthen parent-child bonds, therby providing the support needed to adapt to a new home country. The home visitor plays an important role in facilitating the learning process with both the parents and the children. The Parent Partner works with the children, ages prenatal to five, and their caregivers, modeling educational, strength-based approaches to parent-child relationships. READY strives to prepare these at-risk families for their child’s Kindergarten entry.

Our premise is that parents are their children’s primary and most important teachers. Our job is to empower the parents to become their child’s educator. Empowering the parent is empowering the child. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Home Visits
  • Developmental Screenings
  • Group Meetings
  • Community Resources & Services
  • One-on-One Educational Services with Parents or Children

For more information about The READY Program, contact Kelly Le.

The READY Program adapts a national research-based curriculum, Parents As Teachers (PAT). To learn more about this curriculum, click here. READY is funded by Akron Community Foundation, Maternal Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, and United Way of Summit County. The READY Program partners with Children & Books, Akron Public Schools, Head Start, and Summit Education Initiative.

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 Due to COVID precautions, parenting programs are on hiatus with a tentative start date in the summer of 2021.

Parent & Family

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

The CYF Department conducts bilingual parenting education classes weekly at various northeast Ohio locations.

The program aims to educate parents that are new to the United States on the broad range of opportunities and resources within the community, and to empower families by teaching them practical skills, and the American culture and systems. Our bilingual and bicultural educators are trained to provide relevant and engaging activities for parents that cater to their particular needs. Families and parents interested in the parenting education classes are encouraged to join us at any of the locations below:

For information on enrolling into parenting classes, please contact Bhaskar Giri (for Nepali language) at bgiri@asiaohio.org or Paw Pree (for Karen and Burmese language) at pawpree@asiaohio.org.

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Newcomers

Family Support Center

Support Services for New Families

The Newcomers Family Support Center is a program that provides newly-arriving low-income Asian Americans adults (including their dependents) with linguistically and culturally accessible employment assistance and family stabilization services in the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, more than 35,900 Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) – majority of them immigrants and refugees – reside within Cuyahoga County with the largest Asian American population in Cleveland (12% of the total Cuyahoga County’s Asian American population). In addition, Cuyahoga County has seen a 67% growth rate of Asian Americans compared to the national average of 44%. Among Asian Americans there are over 23 languages and dialects spoken (just within the Chinese communities there are over a dozen dialects, each unique and distinctive). Witin the population over 40% are considered limited English proficient and 2/3 are from low- to moderate- income households.

Due to unique language and cultural barriers, low-income Asian Americans in Cuyahoga County have trouble finding jobs, do not make consistent income progression associated with job promotions and new opportunities, lack limited basic work skills and knowledge especially if they are arriving from developing worlds (hygiene, resume writing, etc.), have trouble navigating the County’s social service system to stabilize their families, and know little or nothing about western concept of personal asset building.

The Newcomers Family Support Center strives to assist people to move further along the path of self-sufficiency and financial independence.

CORE PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Employment Assistance
  • Basic or remedial skills support (many of our clients come from developing worlds with little understanding of personal hygiene and western standards of work ethic such as being on time)
  • Work-ready computer and adult literacy classes
  • Pre-employment training, one-on-one coaching
  • Retention and wage progression support
  • Employer development (assist employer to identify benefits and strategies to hire viable newcomer workforce)
Family Stabilization
  • Assists consumers to access low- income benefits such as medical benefits, supplemental nutrition assistance program, emergency food, childcare assistance, home energy assistance program, telephone bill assistance, water affordability program, housing rental, WIC, EITC, income tax preparation, and SSI
  • Enroll dependents both children and aging family members into programs and services in the county and at ASIA (e.g. Community Adult Mentoring, an afterschool tutoring program and Golden Bridges, service coordination program for older adults)
  • Assist individuals and families to build assets to purchase first home, buy a car for work, save for post-secondary education, or to start a small-business.

Helping families thrive in Northeast Ohio.