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Helping Refugees Call Lancaster “Home”


Ribbon Cutting Officially Opens New Refugee Center

Lancaster, PA; A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on October 7, 2015, will celebrate the opening of the new Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds Middle School: A Project of the Rotary Club of Lancaster. This center, which has been in development for over two years, will help refugee families get to know our culture, learn English, develop needed work skills, and access important medical and mental health services.

Last year, over 500 refugee families resettled in Lancaster County. Many of them have resettled in the northwest and southwest portion of Lancaster City, close to Reynolds Middle School. This has resulted in Reynolds Middle School having a high number of refugee students. This new center will support students and their family members with services such as:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults
  • Citizenship classes for adults
  • Additional ESL services for children before or after school
  • Childcare services
  • Cultural orientation
  • Support for connecting to their child’s school and to become an advocate for their child’s education
  • Job search services
  • Health services
  • Case management
  • Financial literacy workshops
  • Tax services
  • Empower Kits, provided by Power Packs
  • Volunteer management
  • Uniform bank
  • Partnerships with local organizations to provide other needed resources or programs 

The Refugee Center and Community School will serve as the hub of activity for community partners. The collaborative mission is to engage community members in opportunities for education, integration, wellness, and work leading to self-sufficiency and enrichment.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be on Wednesday, October 7th from 3:45-4:45pm. It will be held in front of the Reynolds Middle School, 605 Walnut Street in Lancaster, PA.

Scheduled to speak at the ceremony are: Dr. Damaris Rau of The School District of Lancaster, Melody Keim of Lancaster County Community Foundation, Sue Suter of United Way of Lancaster, Ravi Ravindran of Rotary International, Sheila Mastropietro of Church World Services, Jessica Knapp of Lancaster Country Refugee Coalition, and Dr. Brian Barnhart of Lancaster-Lebanon IU13. Two local families will also speak, and students from Reynolds Middle School will perform as part of the ceremony.


Media Contacts:  
Shannan B. Guthrie – Supervisor of Corporate Communications, IU13
717-203-5433 or

Kelly Burkholder – Director of Communications, SDoL
391-8649 or