Literacy programme helps immigrant mothers and children in Canada

Published:  4 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Immigration, Canada
A new pilot programme, Home Instruction for Pre-School Youngsters, has been designed to make integration into Canadian schools far easier for recently-arrived children between the ages of three and five.

Operating with a grant from Canada’s Citzenship and Immigration department, children from 25 immigrant families will take part in the pilot programme. A 30-week curriculum is being provided, and immigrant mothers will be aided by Canadian mothers with regular home visits, activities and book deliveries.

The Vancouver Island programme is expected to benefit immigrant mothers experiencing language difficulties as well as preparing their children for their first experiences in Canadian schools. The curriculum is specially designed to introduce a new subject every week, and will involve stories and play-based activities aimed at development and integration.

Helen Liu and her daughter Lucy arrived in Canada seven months ago, and are keen to join the programme. Helen still feels isolated and has problems with the English language, and she’s concerned about Lucy’s readiness for formal schooling.

Other funding sources are being sought in order to expand the programme, and CA$40,000 needs to be found by September this year in order to include a larger number of participants and their children. By 2016, the programme hopes to be able to include a number of low-income families in addition to new arrivals.
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