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LETTER: Langley groups team up to solve refugee family’s school transport dilemma

The school, school district and a church group worked together to help a family of seven

Dear Editor,

I just want to acknowledge Principal Kim Anderson and her staff at Lynn Fripps Elementary School as well as bus driver Ben from School District 35.

I am part of a group of people from my church who are helping to settle a family of seven from Iraq. They are so excited to be here.

We managed to find them an amazing home from a local developer who after learning it was for a family of refugees dropped the monthly rent significantly to accommodate their budget. Because there was no other affordable housing option, we quickly secured this home.

We assumed a school bus would be the mode of transportation to school. After learning this was not an option living in their new home now came with a huge challenge, “How do we get our child to school?” the parents being unable to drive and the distance not walkable for a child in Grade 2.

We made the school district aware, and they assured us they would work on a solution, so as volunteers we continued to drive them to and from school for several weeks.

We are so happy to report that a solution has been found. Who knew that a bus stop could be so important and make such an impact on a family?

They are extremely happy to know they can stay in a home they love and that their child is getting to school safely on the bus.

We would like to say a special thank you to bus driver Ben and Kim Anderson who was as determined as anyone to help find a solution. You could find her on the bus! Making sure the kids safely crossed the street and helping her students manage the anxiety they were feeling with this new experience.

As volunteers helping to settle this family in Langley, we’ve been so impressed and thankful for the people they are meeting in their new community.

So many people step up to help in so many ways. Thank you, Langley!

To be honest – I’m thankful we had this problem as it allowed me to get to know some really caring and amazing people in the Langley School District.

We talk a lot about the barriers when settling refugees in a new land.

When you remove onen it makes a huge difference!

Margaret Kunst, Langley

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