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Helping Afghan refugees adapt nearly a year after arriving in Wausau


It's been nearly a year since the first Afghan refugee families arrived in Central Wisconsin.

Ever since the Ethiopian Community Development Council first opened its doors and started the refugee project, Central Wisconsin has become home to more than one hundred refugees from countries including Afghanistan and the Congo.

Leaders said families have settled comfortably, with kids integrating into schools.

But that doesn't mean there haven't been struggles.

"One of the challenges we're seeing in Wausau is that we have limited ELL support, so we're actually looking at some new models that might be deployed next school year where we implement what are called newcomer centers," said Adam VanNoord, Director of the ECDC.

Those centers will help teach English and help integration without placing too much focus on English as a school subject.

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