Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment (RISE)


The mission of Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment (RISE) is to connect immigrant populations with the quality services, resources and lifelong learning opportunities of the Library through outreach, education, and advocacy.

Contact RISE

RISE Email Newsletter

To sign up, visit this page, enter your email address, click 'select email preferences' and choose the checkbox for the RISE newsletter.


Interested in becoming involved with the refugee and immigrant community in Kansas City? RISE is accepting volunteers to help with our programs! Find out how to become a volunteer.


wooden alphabet blocks

English Basics

English Basics begins Thursday, September 15th from 9:30-11:30 a.m. This 8-week, pre-literate ESL course teaches students foundational English skills such as phonological awareness, writing the English alphabet, and high frequency sentence frames. Class will meet in person at the North-East Branch on Thursdays and Fridays at the time listed above.
Students and volunteers must show up for both Thursday and Friday classes.

woman with pencil writing on paper

English for Missouri Drivers License Test

English for Missouri Drivers License Test will begin in person at the North-East Branch on Friday, September 16th from 2-4 p.m. Students will meet weekly for 12-weeks to learn some of the most used vocabulary and content of the Missouri Drivers License Handbook.
**Please note, we are not teaching students how to physically drive a car, we are only teaching them the vocabulary and content to pass the driver’s exam.

woman with pencil looking at laptop

English 1

RISE is offering a new English class!

A general English language class held on Thursdays from 12:30-2 p.m. at the North-East Branch. Students will learn basic verb tenses and receive grammar instruction through culturally relevant units.

two men in conversation

English in Action

A few partners are now meeting online!

For intermediate to advanced English language learners. Learners are paired with a mentor with whom they can practice conversational fluency for 1-2 hours each week online.

group of people in Central Library

English for Citizenship

English for Citizenship will be offered on Wednesday evenings from 4-5:45 p.m. at the North-East Branch.

This course is designed to help develop the language skills necessary to pass the USCIS naturalization test. Students will be taught the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation found on the N-400 form and the 100 civics questions.

people shaking hands

Citizenship Interview Practice

Nervous about your Naturalization Interview? You can practice your interview for FREE at any of our ten library locations.

Volunteers are standing by to help you practice speaking, reading and writing English along with correctly answering the 100 USCIS Civics Questions.

two people looking at paperwork on table

Conversation Club

Conversation Club will be held via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 6-7 p.m.

Come and practice speaking English! We focus on increasing fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and confidence.

person having a virtual meeting

Saturday Conversation Club

Saturday Conversation Club will be held on Saturdays from 10-11:30a.m.

Come and practice speaking English! We focus on increasing fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and confidence.

money smart logo

Money Smart Kansas City

Money Smart Kansas City offers information and links to several area resources for immigrants and refugees.

people standing against wall

English for Trades - Carpentry

Due to limited programming, English for Vocational Trades - Carpentry is not offered at this time.

This is a class for nonnative English speakers who would like to learn the English and math skills necessary to pass the KC/STL Carpenters Regional Council Apprenticeship program entry exam.