Houston Matters

How educators are helping immigrant children adapt to a new country while still learning

Jessica Lander talks about her book “Making Americans,” which illustrates how educators are helping students navigate their education as an immigrant. We also talk with a Houston educator whose work is featured in the book.


Students at Las Americas Newcomer School in Houston.


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School is not easy. And being an immigrant can be a challenge. But navigating your education as an immigrant, well, that's next level.

Language and cultural barriers, family commitments and expectations, gaps in prior classwork in other countries – it can be a lot. Now, throw in a school that doesn't really know what to do with you, and now we're really talking about a rough path forward.

But some schools are finding ways to help immigrant students not only adapt, but thrive in the classroom.

High school teacher Jessica Lander profiles such schools, including Houston's Las Americas Newcomer School, in her book Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education.

In the audio above, Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks with Lander about the book. And the former principal of Las Americas Newcomer School, Dr. Marie Moreno, talks about how her former school helped newcomers to this country adapt to the challenges of their environment.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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