Interview: Mary Kay O’Brien, Somali-Bantu children’s concert

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If you’ve ever had the intimidating experience of being the “new kid” at a brand new school, after moving to a town you’ve never seen, imagine what it’s like for the children of Somali-Bantu refugees who start a new life in a completely foreign land.

Dozens of these refugees have made their way to Burlington over the past few years, and the transition for them, and especially their children, has been more than a little challenging.

But the kids are taking a big step forward tomorrow, when they’ll be singing songs for their parents and the public at the Flynn Elementary School in Burlington.

Mary Kay O’Brien is a teacher in Burlington who works with Somali-Bantu families arriving in Vermont. She spoke with Mitch Wertlieb about how Vermont’s largest city became involved in welcoming refugees from around the globe.

Note: There will be two presentations with song tomorrow at 1:00pm and 6:30pm at the Flynn Elementary School, 1645 North Avenue in Burlington. They are open to the public.

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