Salvation Army uses music to teach English to migrants in NYC
More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in New York City in the past year, and communities have been banding together to support them. The Salvation Army has been teaching migrant children English through music. They say they’re teaching them the notes to the song of a brighter future.
Their teacher is Capt. Danielle Hall – a product of Salvation Army music programs herself.
“The language is starting to stick on them through the music,” Hall told News 12 New York. “The ability to learn songs, memorize songs, you’re learning and memorizing the words too. I often find that once we are done with our classes and our children leave, they’re still kind of singing the songs, whether it is in English or Spanish."
Experts say migrant children face barriers like not knowing how to read or write and disrupted learning due to the city’s shelter rules – which say that migrants have to reapply for placement every 60 days.
“This type of work is vital to the lives of the kids, to the lives of their parents,” Hall added.
She says that’s because it fosters a sense of community.
“After the kids’ programs, we also have a family dinner where the parents are able to come and have dinner with their kids. Now the parents are getting to know other parents, the kids getting to know other kids - and although many of them have come from different parts of the world, they get to come here and feel like they’re with family,” Hall said.
A product of that camaraderie is a Christmas tree that stands tall over the students as they learn new music.
“Each and every ornament that was there was a child and a parent that put it up there themselves,” said Hall’s husband, Capt. Yuco Hall.
The Salvation Army says your support is crucial in order to run programs like this. They say you can donate online HERE or you can leave money in one of their iconic red cans found around New York City.