Prior Lake Rotary Club, community looks to support local Ukrainian students

With 12 Ukranian students in the Prior Lake–Savage school district, and dozens of Ukranian families in Scott County, there is a call for more community support.

The Prior Lake Rotary Club is making the plea.

Rotary member Kyle Haugen told FOX 9, "I think the biggest need is the overall support of saying, ‘hey, you have a place to come. You have a place to live. You have a way to help get enrolled in school.’ So it's not just trying to figure out on their own."  

Haugen says just about everything is needed from food, clothing and housing to monetary donations. English classes are another big need, especially for adults.

"There's a long waiting list to get to the adult English starting classes. So we're looking for private tutor, a school volunteer," said Sasha Kuznetsov, principal at Hidden Oaks Middle School.

For some of the children, they’re also dealing with family separation. They may come over from the war-torn country with a parent, but that parent may have to leave when their humanitarian VISA runs out. 

Sophomore Davyd Symoncuk’s mother had to leave for that reason. However, he wants to stay, saying he likes it here. 

"I know it's good people. I like the school so big. Like, really nice," Symoncuk said. 

Prior Lake High School Senior Daryna Kruk came alone traveling through four countries and legally crossing the border from Mexico before humanitarian workers were able to help her with the final leg of the trip. Kruk makes it clear she is very grateful to be in the United States and hopes she can stay beyond April, when she might be forced to go back to Ukraine.  

The district expects to enroll even more Ukranian students in the coming months.

If you’d like to help with food, clothing, housing or with monetary donations you can contact Sam Ouk, Inclusion and Equity Director for Prior Lake Schools at