Here's the excerpt that caught my attention:
"I'm helping him gain the confidence to put his own sentences together. It helps him formulate sentences and teaches me about who he is," says Finigan, 20, who worked with refugees in Thailand in 2008 with missionaries along the border and wanted to continue his work when he came back to the states.
The two worked on a lesson plan on the Native Americans, and Thar Hto Lay's eyes grew big as he looked at the pictures of tepees and bow and arrows.
"Do you know what a bow and arrow is?" asks Finigan.
The teenager just looks up at him and shakes his head.
"They are used to hunt. Do you hunt back in Burma? Or do they use guns?" he ask.
"They use guns," Thar Hto Lay says quietly.
Finigan has been working with Thar Hto Lay since January, coming to his home once a week for two hours at a time. The two talk about favorite movies and food to break the ice and move on to the lesson plan of the day.
I'm going to write to the program for more information. It sounds like the lesson plan on Native Americans rests heavily on stereotypes. The article is "Volunteers help refugees assimilate in the South Bay." It is viewable today (July 7, 2009) in the San Jose Mercury News.