Third Year's the Charm

Support Year 3 at Global Roots Play School!

A fundraising campaign for Ithaca Welcomes Refugees

All good things come in threes - including the opportunity to support accessible childcare in our community. As we head into Year Three of Global Roots, we need your support more than ever to continue to tackle the barriers facing refugee and immigrant families in the Ithaca area.

With your generous support, we launched Global Roots Play School in 2017 in partnership with adult English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in Ithaca. Refugee and immigrant parents of children ages 18 months to 5 years old can send their child to Global Roots Play School and then attend their nearby English classes at Open Doors English, Tompkins Learning Partners, and BOCES. In our first two years, we have provided early childhood education to 34 children, with families from Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, and more!

Throughout our first and second years, we have continued to grow and reach even more of our target population of refugee and immigrant families, providing safe and nurturing care to their young children. We use a sliding scale of tuition according to family income, and no family is turned away because they cannot afford it. As we continue to support more of our target population, we need your help to cover the difference between the per child cost of operations and the affordable tuition contributions from families. Your contribution today to support tuition assistance will ensure that low-income families can afford to send their children to Global Roots Play School and attend adult English classes.  

To learn more, read on below and visit our website at

For additional information, please contact


Many immigrant and refugee families face barriers to accessing education for their children - the high cost of early childhood education in downtown Ithaca, the cost and limitations of transportation, and limited English to navigate the community all add to the difficulty. 

And without affordable childcare, families face serious repercussions. Parents in need of ESL who are forced to miss classes or tutoring miss out on the English skills they need for daily activities. As a result they remain isolated and limited in opportunities for employment, social interaction, and community integration. Some low-income refugee/immigrant families depend on the Department of Social Services for financial support. This support is dependent upon attendance at ESL classes. Without accessible childcare, the risk of financial instability increases.


We provide:

  • Childcare in close proximity to ESL classes 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 and community support for families to reduce stress on both parents and children.

Our two-generation approach is unique and means that we help both parents and young children have access to the basic educational opportunities that they need. Being part of the Global Roots community allows parents and young children to make new friends and feel like they belong in their new community. Global Roots offers a supportive space for young children to learn, expand their trust beyond the family, and explore their world. Research shows that quality early childhood education can provide critical benefits to children of immigrants and refugees including improved health and mental health, increased English language proficiency, and development of social and cognitive skills. Our program supports each child’s development so that they will enter Pre-K and Kindergarten socially and emotionally ready to learn, setting the foundation for lifelong learning for these new young Ithacans.

For parents, ESL classes empower them to pursue their personal educational and career goals, including passing the TASC (the new GED), and completing the U.S. citizenship exam. When refugee and immigrant parents become proficient in English they can become actively engaged members of their communities, contributing their many talents and skills that might otherwise have been missed. In particular, women benefit from the freedom to pursue educational opportunities and advance their presence in society outside of the home.

Global Roots Play School values the cultural and linguistic background of every family we serve and we practice anti-bias education. From the books to the toys in our classroom, we work hard to ensure that every child has a positive mirror to reflect their identity. Our classroom is full of dual language learners so teachers talk, read, and sing throughout the day – proven best practice for language development. Our play-based approach allows children to learn joyfully and make sense of their world - developing language, forming peer relationships, expressing emotions, navigating conflicts, and developing a sense of self and confidence.


If you are interested in giving but do not wish to give by credit card online, you are welcome to send a check made out to "Global Roots Play School" to the address below.  All checks which are received within the month of October will be added manually and appear in the GiveGab donation list. If you wish for your donation to remain anonymous, please send a note with the check. Thank you!

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees

315 N. Cayuga Street

Ithaca, NY 14850 

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