Resources are available in Nanaimo to help support early literacy for children from immigrant and refugee families.
Literacy Central Vancouver Island’s IPALS program – parents as literacy supporters in immigrant communities – has been ongoing for four years and recently secured another five years of funding from senior levels of government.
“The program is a culturally responsive family literacy program designed to help immigrant and refugee families – and their young children – flourish in their new communities,” noted a release from Literacy CVI. “Families learn new strategies to support their young children’s literacy development and the benefits are far-reaching.”
During the pandemic, the program is being offered in a hybrid format, mostly online. Children work on language and literacy skills that help them adapt to their communities and prepare them for school, says Literacy CVI, and family members learn ways to support their children’s learning and literacy and connect with other families.
“IPALS provides wonderful resources, such as games, books and art activities to encourage meaningful learning for families and their 3-5-year-old child,” said Jocelyn Fries, LCVI’s family literacy coordinator, in the release.
There are 12 families currently signed up for the program locally, most of them from Syria.
The program is in place in seven B.C. communities or school districts through provincial and federal funding streams and with the support of private donors.
For more information, visit www.decoda.ca/practitioners/family-literacy-and-early-learning/working-with-immigrant-communities/.