Help refugee and immigrant families in Ithaca!

Support parents who are eager to learn English by offering affordable, accessible childcare in a warm community at Global Roots Play School

A fundraising campaign for Ithaca Welcomes Refugees

Create a pathway for immigrant and refugee families to get to class! 

Parents with small children want to attend English classes or tutoring but struggle to find downtown childcare.  Childcare options are too expensive or too far away from classes, preventing mothers from attending classes or tutoring even a few hours a day.  Ithaca Welcomes Refugees is opening Global Roots Play School for children ages 18 months to 5 years, close to English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, to help families get the childcare they need.  With children at school in a caring community, parents can focus on their English for the benefit of the whole family!

Global Roots Play School will be a unique and intentional community of caregivers, children, and families. The focus will be on learning through play. Global Roots will be a community with many origins, cultures, ethnicities, languages, and customs. Families from Ithaca and around the world will grow roots together. Children will learn from each new interaction that broadens their understanding of the world around them. 

Childcare will be affordable for low income families through your support.  Please spread word to your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors about this new program.  We are counting on IWR's network of caring volunteers to help spread the word and raise the start-up funds needed to launch the Play School in September!

Support for ESL Classes and a Community for the Whole Family

Some potential English as a Second Language students, most often women, are unable to attend classes or tutoring with BOCES or Tompkins Learning Partners (TLP) because they struggle to identify affordable childcare in the downtown area near the ESL programs. 

The lack of affordable childcare has a huge impact on families. Adults in need of ESL who do not attend classes lack sufficient English skills for daily activities, remain isolated from the support of the community and fellow students, and have limited opportunities for employment, social interaction, and community integration.


Affordable, Nearby Childcare at the Play School in September 2017

To address the need for affordable childcare, Global Roots Play School will offer: 

  • Childcare support downtown in close proximity to BOCES and TLP to allow parents reasonable access to their children; 
  • Affordability for low-income refugee and immigrant parents; 
  • Culturally sensitive, play-based childcare where children feel safe and nurtured, while experiencing socialization; 
  • School/community support for families to reduce stress on both parents and children, enabling all to learn more effectively. 
  • Highly qualified leadership in Global Roots Director Bronwyn Losey, through her Masters in Early Childhood Development and 14 year of early childhood experience.

Refugee and immigrant parents will have the security of knowing that their children are well-cared for nearby, in order to focus on their English learning, educational/occupational opportunities, and activities offered through BOCES and TLP.  To help meet Global Roots' goal of building an interconnected community, children from the general community will also be enrolled, as space is available.  

The School will open downtown on North Aurora Street, just blocks from the ESL programs, in September 2017 to coincide with the next BOCES class cycle.

Your Donations Make a Sliding Scale Possible

Enrolled families will be charged tuition on a sliding scale according to family income to ensure affordability. Ithaca Welcomes Refugees has launched a fundraising campaign to cover the difference between the per-child cost of operations and affordable tuition contributions from low income families. Your contribution will directly ensure that parents can afford to send their children to the School and can attend critical ESL classes.

To find out more, please visit us at

To learn more about enrollment, please contact for more information.

We've raised our first $1,000!

August 1, 2017

Thank you all!

We are off to a great start!

A big thank you to Leia Raphaelidis-our first Fundraising Champion!

To become our next champion you can create your own mini-fundraising campaign and add your message to send to friends and family. 

Just click on the orange box "Start Fundraising" to the right below the top image and let people know why you are passionate about starting this program!

Email Bronwyn at with any questions.

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