A number of local community organizations are coming together to deliver a new program for Syrian families with young children. The IPALS (Immigrant Parents as Literacy Supporters) program aims to help immigrant and refugee families support their preschool and kindergarten-aged children’s early literacy development.
The eight session program, starting in February, will have parents working on a series of different literacy activities alongside their children. The free program will be offered at Pearson Road Elementary School, Field Studies Learning Centre. “This program is an incredible opportunity to bring together a variety of community literacy resources to support the Syrian families that now call Kelowna home” says Project Literacy Kelowna Society Executive Director Christine McWillis, “the program will work in a culturally sensitive way to help parents support their children’s literacy development.”
Although the program supports the development of literacy skills among young children, the parents have an opportunity to engage in developing their own literacy. Program Facilitator Donna Kozak says, “IPALS is a bridge to starting school for these families. We look forward to offering an accessible, bilingual, culturally responsive and supportive learning environment for both the parents and children.”
The delivery of this program in the Kelowna area is supported by Decoda Literacy Solutions and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Partnerships with Project Literacy Kelowna, Central Okanagan Public Schools, Kelowna Community Resources and Kelowna Child Care Society will make its local delivery possible.
If you are interested in getting involved or finding our more about the IPALS program, contact Project Literacy Kelowna Society today.