Americana provides holistic, comprehensive programs to immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals in Louisville. These programs enable people to overcome the challenges of integrating into a new community and of living below the poverty line.
Americana’s youth programs are designed to provide children and teens in our community with diverse, meaningful opportunities for academic and personal development to ensure their success in school and life.
The After-School Program provides a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment for school-aged youth. Programming supports their achievement in school through homework help and tutoring, English as a Second Language instruction, college and career readiness programs, creative arts, counseling, youth coaching, a hot meal from Dare to Care Kids’ Café, teen leadership, and health and wellness activities such as basketball, soccer, gardening, and nutrition lessons. Through community partnerships, the young participants are also given opportunities they would not otherwise have, such as local field trips, dance and music class, and off-campus recreational activities including hiking and archery.
The Summer Youth Program is a 7-week program during June and July for school-aged youth to participate in fun, engaging activities to prevent summer learning loss and develop personal interests. The program focuses on six core areas: STEM, Creative Arts, Physical Education, Environmental Education, Literacy, and Computer Literacy. Programming also includes English as a Second Language classes, field trips, swimming lessons, three meals each day, and recreational activities.
The Creative Arts Program is part of Americana’s year-round youth programming. With emphasis on creative expression, skill-based learning, and social development, creative arts are an important component of the holistic services we provide. Each week, activities such as visual arts, dance, AmeriChoir, and creative writing are offered on-site, along with regular outings into the arts community and visiting artist workshops in all arts disciplines.
The goal of our family programs is to help families successfully integrate into their new hometown.
The Family Education Program supports immigrant and refugee parents in acquiring the tools necessary to promote their children’s academic success, while increasing their own English language proficiency and meeting personal health, education, and personal goals. Parents and their children participate in some activities together, promoting parents in their role as a child’s first teacher and improving collaboration as a family unit.
The five components of our Family Education Program are:
- Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children
- Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children
- Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency
- An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences
- Setting and meeting personal goals through Family Coaching
Family Coaching is a confidential, one-on-one relationship between families and a family coach designed to help foster positive change in a family’s life. Coaching is based on the belief that the family has the answers they need, and the family coach is trained to support them in discovering these answers rather than simply providing answers. As a critical element to the Family Education Program, families have set and achieved goals like continuing their education, completing their GED, buying a house, earning employment certifications, and obtaining citizenship.
Established in 2006, the Americana Community Garden is a space dedicated to the physical, mental, and emotional nourishment of our low-income, immigrant, and refugee neighbors. Americana’s community garden includes 12 plots where individuals and families are able to grow food for themselves and the community. Participants in the garden program learn new gardening techniques, share knowledge with one another, and build community.
The Americana Children’s Garden neighbors the original community garden on Americana’s campus. It is an integral part of the Youth Program and gives youth participants the opportunity to connect with nature and get their hands in the dirt while learning to grow and enjoy healthy food. Featuring 12 raised beds, a strawberry patch, a grape vine, berry bushes, fruit trees, no-mow pollinator areas, and an outdoor classroom, the Children’s Garden offers a dynamic setting for fun environmental and nutrition activities. Produce from Americana’s Children’s Garden is enjoyed by youth participants during program or sent home with them to supplement their families’ nutrition and food security. All extra produce is donated to local community ministries and food justice organizations. Each growing season, the Children’s Garden produces and distributes between 200 and 300 pounds of food.
Consisting of 133 plots tended by at least 100 separate families, the Peaceful Eden community garden feeds at least 500 families by way of grassroots sharing networks. Peaceful Eden was established in 2016 on 3 acres of land directly adjacent to Americana’s soccer field which is owned by St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Peaceful Eden is collectively led and managed by volunteer garden leaders. Americana partners with Common Earth Gardens to support this garden and its leaders.
Fiberworks is a women’s arts group designed to support the positive integration of refugee and immigrant women into the Louisville community using a common interest in the fiber arts. Participants help one another develop confidence, skills, and resources necessary to identify and pursue goals for themselves and their families as they adapt to their new home in Louisville. Find their handmade products at the Rosewater bookstore and local festivals and fairs.
On-Site Partner Programs
The Jefferson County Public Schools Adult Learning Center at Americana provides a number of educational services:
- Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes
- GED in both English and Spanish
- English as a Second Language (ESL) program*
*More than 50% of all ESL students in Kentucky attend class at Americana.
Family Health Centers provide residents of Louisville and Jefferson County access to high-quality primary and preventative health care services without regard to the ability to pay. FHC recognizes the important role that culture plays in health and developed the Americana clinic as an extension of their mission and a way to better provide for the diverse health care needs of Louisville’s immigrants and refugees.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at Americana offers free tax preparation from February to April each year to qualifying individuals and families in partnership with the Louisville Asset Building Coalition and the IRS.
The Survivors of Torture and Recovery Clinic provides comprehensive torture survivor centered services to refugees and immigrants who have been victims of torture and/or who may have witnessed torture of family, friends or others in their country of origin prior to arriving in the United States. Family members of survivors of torture are also served.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries offers citizenship classes once a week at Americana and more than 50 students become U.S. Citizens with the help of this class every year.
Our staff also provide Trauma Resilience Training, Cultural Competency Training, and Domestic Abuse Prevention Training.