• We are working to foster greater understanding between youth and support English language growth for Syrian students.

  • The Program

    We are working to foster greater understanding between youth and support English language growth for Syrian students.

    Our Goals

    1. Helping conflict-affected high school students improve their English to increase their future opportunities.
    2. Increasing compassion in high school students by connecting them with peers from different backgrounds.
    3. Providing a voice for conflict-affected high school students.

    Building Connections

    We are bringing together teenagers from diverse backgrounds in the hopes of building friendships and fostering understanding. Our model centers around connecting schools in each location so that both the students and tutors have local communities for support and discussion. We are targeting youth in particular because we see that high schoolers are at a crucial point in developing their understanding of the world, and we hope that providing them with this unique opportunity to connect with someone who has had vastly different experiences will expand their view.

    Personal English Conversation

    English is a requirement for most universities, meaning it is critical for Syrian high school students looking to expand their future opportunities. Our program provides individualized tutors for each student, helping them practice English conversation and providing specialized tasks addressing what each student needs. American high schoolers have the opportunity to practice tutoring and support Syrian refugees in a personal and important way.

  • Our Schools

    Ward Melville High School, Long Island, NY

    In the first year of the Youth Exchange Program, ten high school students from Ward Melville High School were matched with ten Syrian students. They each met once a week on Skype, discussing their lives, their dreams, and everything in between. In the spring, the high school raised over $1,000 to purchase tablets for their students' classroom.

    Andrew, 17

    "In tutoring Aasem, I realize how isolated my life has been. I find it’s the similarities rather than the differences in our lives that intrigue the most.”

    Shannon, 18

    "Being a tutor for Paper Airplanes has been nothing but rewarding. I have become connected with someone who, though lives so far from me, I am so close to in so many ways.”

  • Our Syrian Partner Schools

    The 'Ataa School, Hatay, Turkey


    The 'Ataa School is an independently run Syrian school in Reyhanli, Turkey that is addressing the lack of educational access for over 2,000 Syrian students. Many have dreams to attend universities but need high levels of English. Paper Airplanes is providing English buddies to help the students practice and improve their English, and connect them with peers halfway across the world.

    Leading inside and outside of the classroom.

    "My name is Bouthina and I am from Syria, working as an English teacher in Reyhanli, Turkey at the 'Ataa School. Out of school I work as a volunteer to help Syrian women mentally and spiritually. We hold medical, psychological, social and education sessions for women in the community with the goal of helping and empowering them."

    Challenges to English education

    "I'm trying to do my best despite the difficult circumstances that we face to teach young girls English. Recently, the Turkish government forced us to replace our English classes with Turkish classes, which has made it very difficult for us to teach English to our students."

  • Get Involved

     Interested in getting you or your high school involved?
    Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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