Student News

Doctoral student Amy Lerner completes handbook on refugees

Amy Lerner

Amy Lerner

Amy Lerner, a Ph.D. student in the early childhood, special education and literacy program, has published a handbook to help educators who work with refugees from Burma.

The handbook – Educating the Refugee Child: A Resource Guide for Teachers – was part of Lerner’s community engagement fellowship from the Carolina Center for Public Service.

During the summer Lerner developed and published the guide, which was written for elementary school personnel who work with refugee students from Burma. Printed copies of the guide were distributed to several schools in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district last month in time for the start of classes. The Chapel Hill area has a significant population of Burmese refugees, with approximately 200 refugee students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system.

The Center for Public service also has made the handbook available on its website. The guide may be found at the bottom of this page after the description of the project.

Before coming to UNC, Lerner earned her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and spent two-years conducting research at the New York University Child Study Center.

Since coming to Carolina, she has been the recipient of a Research Triangle Schools Partnership doctoral student seed grant, a Community Engagement Fellowship from the Carolina Center for Public Service, and a Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund grant from The Reed Foundation. As part of these projects, Lerner is conducting research aimed at understanding the challenges and opportunities for successfully integrating refugee children into school communities, and increasing their academic potential.

Lerner is spending the Fall 2012 semester in the District of Columbia, conducting research for her Reed Foundation grant project.