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How Teachers Are Weaving First-Generation Texans Into the American Tapestry

Fronteras_Muslim_teen_cafeteria.jpg
Photo/Mark Birnbaum
“I’m really outgoing. And I’m very social,” Irum Ali says. ";s:3:"u

On Fronteras: The final stories in KERA’s American Graduate series, Generation One.

-- Students in Fort Worth who’ve just arrived from another country are usually placed in a school that’s only for immigrant kids. We learn how teachers have been working with these students to get them ready for a regular classroom.

-- We’ll meet a Pakistani-American student who’s learning to balance her Muslim faith with being a regular high school teen.

-- And reporter Stella Chavez joins the program to give us a recap on this series and tell us what she learned from this reporting project.

  In Fort Worth, A School Just for Immigrant Kids

We start with a visit to an innovative school in Fort Worth that hosts about 500 students. Not one of them has been in the U.S. more than a year or two. It’s called the ‘International Newcomer Academy.’ Stella Chavez gets up close, to look at how it works.

A Teen Embraces Her Muslim Roots

More Muslims live in Texas than any other state. That’s according to the 2010 U.S. Religion Census. You see that in school hallways across North Texas. Stella Chavez now takes us to Liberty High School in suburban Frisco to meet an American-born teenager who’s decided to wear a hijab.

Chavez also joins us for the second half of Fronteras to reflect about what she learned from working on this series.

"The original idea was to put a face to these statistics that we see. I think the most startling or dramatic statistic that I found is that one in three children in Texas is either the child of an immigrant, or an immigrant themselves," said Chavez.

Crystal Chavez was Texas Public Radio’s Morning Edition host for three years, until January 2015.