About Us

The Refugee New Arrival School

The Refugee New Arrival School was  developed in the late 1990’s to meet the needs of refugees living  in Guilford County. Although there were many ESOL programs  in Greensboro, employees at Lutheran Family Services and GTCC determined  that there was a large segment of the refugee population unable to  access the available ESOL programs. One major barrier for refugee  families was that parents (especially mothers) could not attend classes  due to their childcare responsibilities. The New Arrival School (NAS)  was developed through a partnership with GTCC, Grace Community Church  and the NC State Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) contract as a place  where families could come together to learn English and participate in  employment readiness and cultural orientation programs. The NAS operates  five days a week for 3.25 hours per day. There are currently 7 adult  classes and 2 early childhood transitional classes. In addition to our  adult classes we also have employment readiness classes and cultural  orientation seminars every week. GTCC provides the adult ESOL  instructors, the church houses the program and NAI administrates the  program including day to day operations, development and implementation  of the cultural orientation and employment classes, enrollment of adult  students and operation of the early childhood transitional classes. 

English Language Training beyond the New Arrivals School

In addition to the New Arrival School the English Language Training Program also  includes a variety of classes in satellite locations around Greensboro.  These classes include ESOL, cultural orientation, health literacy,  employment classes and individual educational counseling.  The  importance of both the NAS and satellite classes cannot be over  emphasized as learning English, employment skills and community  orientation is vital to the success and self-sufficiency of refugees  in Guilford County. Unlike other refugee programs that are only able to  work with refugees for the first 5 years they have lived in the USA the  English Language Training (ELT) program is able to work with students  until they become a US Citizen. As such the ELT program is vitally  important as it is often the only resource available to long term  residents needing assistance and therefore has worked to develop courses  that teach clients how to meet their employment and societal needs.  

Why start the New Arrivals Institute?

In the past the ELT  program has striven to meet all the educational needs of clients in  Guilford County but, being part of a larger organization, we were at  times unable to develop new programs or apply for grants. Due to many  circumstances including our current economic downturn the English  Language Training program learned in early 2010 that significant changes  to the refugee program in Guilford County were inevitable. Although  changes can be painful they can also be a new beginning giving the  Guilford County residents (refugee and non-refugee) the opportunity to  look with ‘fresh eyes’ at the current program and determine how the  current programs need to be changed to better meet current client needs.


After  much prayer, deliberation and conversations with community partners one  theme kept appearing, “Why don’t we start a non-profit that will have  the flexibility to not only apply for grants but will be able to quickly  develop and implement programs to meet the needs of refugees and  immigrants?” As such, the idea of New Arrivals Institute was born. New  Arrivals Institute is not only a resource for and educational service  provider to refugees and immigrants, but also serves as a resource to  the community at large about refugees and immigrants and their issues.