Composing Storylines of Possibilities

Immigrant and Refugee Families Navigating School

Edited by:
Martha J. Strickland, Pennsylvania State University

A volume in the series: Family School Community Partnership Issues. Editor(s): Diana Hiatt-Michael, Pepperdine University.

Published 2022

In this book, internationally migrant families invite us to listen to the storylines of their mostly muted voices as they navigate the local schools in their new cultural context. They call us to hear them as they grapple with issues they encounter. They implore us to feel like an outsider and see the school as a foreign culture with language and communication barriers. The book is organized to enhance this carework. Each chapter begins with a vignette that includes the voices of one or more members of international migrating families, while introducing the context of the chapter. At the end of each chapter readers will find specific implications to consider. These are constructed with preservice teachers, practicing teachers, and educational administrators in mind.

As you read each chapter, there is the call for school transformation. The families in this book entreat school personnel to engage with international migrant families and to embrace a risk and resilience model as we strive together for success. These storylines challenge us to examine our personal storylines for biases and deficit understandings and call us all to purposefully rewrite these in the spirit of possibilities as the families in this book have embodied for us.

Preface. Introduction. PART I: Multivocal Storylines: One Pakistani Immigrant Mother’s Pursuit to Understand Her Children’s Schooling, Karmina (pseudonym) Mahmood and Martha J Strickland. “I Just Don’t Belong”: A Latina Immigrant Mother’s Journey From Locker Room Attendant to Teacher, Seung Eun (Sunny) McDevitt. Raising Humble Learners: Asian Immigrant Families’ Socialization and Children’s School Experiences, Yoko Yamamoto, Jin Li, Andy Li, Rakel LaFave, and Catherine J. Reichling. The Unheard Storylines: Pakistani Families Make Sense of Their Children’s School Experiences in the United States, Martha J. Strickland and Elena Lyutykh. Saliendo Adelante: Indigenous Im/migrant Family Agency in Navigating Linguistic Barriers to School Resource Access, Rebecca Campbell-Montalvo. “¿Cómo no quieren que me enoje?”: Latinx Immigrant Parents’ Engagement in the Early Grades, Kiyomi Sánchez-Suzuki Colegrove, Molly E. McManus, and Jennifer Keys Adair. Stories Highlighting One Refugee/Immigrant Family’s Values That Contributed to Their Children’s Academic Success, Carmen Shahadi Rowe, Marlene Walli Shade, Benjamin Donald Rowe, Sarah Elisabeth Hostetter, Abigail Emily Rowe, and Gabriel Robert Rowe. PART II: “We’re Family”: Community Centers as a Space of Healing for Immigrant Families, Nga-Wing Anjela Wong. Centering Care Work in Education: Lessons From Indonesian Youth, Grace D. Player, Alicia Rusoja, Yared Portillo, Olivia Vazquez, and Gerald Campano. “I Know You Are Trying to Help Me, But ...”: Complexity in Supporting Immigrant Youth and Communities Through Schooling, Evelyn C. Baca and Ramona M. Fruja. High School Immigrant and Refugee Students and Families’ Participatory Educational Transformations, Leticia Alvarez Gutiérrez, Patricia D. Quijada Cerecer, and Josie J. Wankier. The Effects of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment on Teachers, Immigrant Students, and Parents, Selcuk Sirin, Elysia Choi, and Esther Sin. About the Editor. About the Contributors.

"Despite fluctuating federal immigration and resettlement policies, the United States of America continues to rank among the countries with the largest number of foreign-born residents in the world. The voices of these immigrant and refugee families are fundamental to cultivating engagement with their children’s schools, not only to promote their children’s academic success, but also to nurture the well-being of local communities and American society as a whole. The works within the book, Composing Storylines of Possibilities: Immigrant and Refugee Families Navigating School, edited by Martha J. Strickland, showcase these voices while problematizing the relentless deficit model surrounding the engagement of immigrant and refugee families in their children’s education." David A. Housel LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) in School Community Journal (Read full review)