NEW YORK (WABC) -- Thousands of children make up the asylum seekers going through processing in NYC and that means the Department of Education has a huge task on its hands to try to get the kids acclimated in school.
More than 5,500 migrant children have enrolled in NYC schools, prompting officials to create "borough response teams."
Schools Chancellor David Banks announced the teams Tuesday, consisting of volunteers who will provide support to new students.
The chancellor made the announcement at P.S. 16 in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where 39 children of asylum seekers are being taught.
The children are from Chile, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
The education department recently sent out a call-to-action to parents, with plans to organize food and clothing drives and resource fairs. But these families need more.
"We are expanding beyond the program that we already had a place for English language learners, to put more Transitional Bilingual programs at schools that are seeing an influx of new students," Banks said. "And we are quickly providing more funding to allow schools to staff up. Beyond academics, we are supporting our students' mental health needs. Every school has access to a social worker, a school counselor, or in some cases, an onsite mental health clinic and we are actively recruiting for more social workers that speak Spanish."
The City Comptroller estimated that the Department of Education needs at least $34 million in funding to pay for newly enrolled migrant students.
Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams tweeted about his visit Monday night to the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Randall's Island, showing the cots, kitchen and medical care.
He says CARE is the key word, adding, "We didn't ask for this crisis but we're meeting the moment."
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