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Daviess County Public School hire six refugee advocates for international students and families

Daviess County High School
Daviess County Facebook
Daviess County High School

The Daviess County Public School system has hired six individuals to serve as refugee advocates in their schools. The advocates will work with students and their families to assist in English language instruction and help as they transition to a new school and community.

The public school system announced the new hires will be funded through four federal grants through the Kentucky Office of Refugees. The Daviess County Public School system has 154 refugees in their schools. The six advocates will be split between students in early childhood education and Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Jana Beth Francis is the Assistant Superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. She said the advocates will work closely with the students and their families as they transition to a new school and community.

“We were thrilled to get the grant from the Kentucky Office of Refugees because in our district our total English learner population is growing,” Francis said. “So the advocate is really helping to bridge that student into the Daviess County Public School.”

According to Francis, the advocates have a background in English language instruction and have worked with refugees. Each advocate will have a caseload of students they will focus on. Transportation for refugees assimilating to a new community is an obstacle for many families, preschool advocates will focus on assisting families in getting to and from Daviess County preschools. K-12 advocates will assist students in classrooms and provide a bridge between the public school and the new families.

Francis said the refugee advocates provide a valuable link between the school and the student’s families.

“What makes this position unique is these individuals become trusted adults in the refugee community; they know that these advocates are there to support them,” Francis said.

Jacob Martin is a Reporter at WKU Public Radio. He joined the newsroom from Kansas City, where he covered the city’s underserved communities and general assignments at NPR member station, KCUR. A Louisville native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, New York before moving back to Kentucky. Email him at