Learning to Understand

Students from refugee and immigrant families are struggling to get a decent public education in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Photo by H. Scott Hoffmann, News & Record

In this two-part series, Marquita Brown explores the challenges facing immigrants and refugees who now call Guilford County their home. Many fled war-torn countries, hoping for a better life—and education—for their children. “What they often find instead is an education system stacked against them,” writes Brown.

The series includes a close-up look at Newcomers School, which offers up to one year of focused instruction for immigrant and refugee students, one of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

This two-part series was first published in the News & Record on August 30 and 31, 2015.

In June 2016, Brown’s story, “Newcomers School Bridges Language Gap Among Guilford Students” won a second-place prize from the Society for Features Journalism in its “Diversity in Digital Features” category. The judges commented that this story was the “full package: database reporting, noteworthy writing, and nice visuals and graphics. A creative way of putting a face on various immigrant communities.”



Marquita Brown covers K-12 education for the News & Record in Greensboro, North Carolina. She moved to Greensboro in 2013, immediately picking up coverage of socioeconomic inequity in local schools. Brown is a former reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi, and The Roanoke Times in Virginia. She has a bachelor’s degree in both journalism and political science from the University of Mississippi.