North Ridgeville students help educate Syrian refugees through new app

NORTH RIDGEVILLE- The Syrian refugee crisis remains one of the largest in world history. Thursday young refugees currently in Lebanon got a helping hand from students in Northeast Ohio.

"If this isn't global learning then I don't know what global learning is, our girls are able to read with these girls across the world," said teacher Claire Conley.

The connection made possible via the Kindi App, currently being piloted with students in Lebanon. Conley said she wanted to find a way for her 8th-grade students to better connect with their lesson, reading the book called, Refugee. Conely heard about the app and tracked down the developer who helped bring this assignment to life.

"It's almost magical like unreal almost," said Evelyn Dunlap, 13. "They take even the slightest blessing and they embrace it and I really think the Kindi App helps us realize that."

The classroom was able to read with three refugees who are working to perfect their English. Through the app both groups of students were able to communicate through a live reading session. American students would read along, highlighting words and phrases for the Syrian students to practice.

"I was smiling the whole time," said 14-year-old McKenna Murphy. "It was cute and fun just it was nice to help just in the slightest way."

Students said they did not know the personal backgrounds of the children they were talking to in Lebanon but they did have an understanding of their situation.

"They were forced to leave their countries and how like there aren't that many options for them and what their life is like and how they've been relying on the government for things and they need some help," said Allie Chinchar, 14.

During the reading with Yara and her classmates in Beirut, students in North Ridgeville say they made a humbling connection.

"I feel so grateful that I was given like the blessings and the opportunities to be able to do this," said Autumn Behlke, 14. "Where somebody who maybe isn't as lucky as me, I just get to help them, it's just really awesome."

**More on the Kindi app here**

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