Parents as Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities

Parents as Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities

Parents as Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities

Date posted: March 27, 2018

“Being new to Canada, IPALS helped me to understand how to make reading an important part of preschool and how to use things around my house to improve learning skills. I learned how to teach my kids in playful and interesting ways (like counting beans) to learn math. Learning can be fun – this is very different and very new to me and our culture.” – Roquaya, a Syrian refugee mom

The Parents as Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities (IPALS) program is a play-based, culturally responsive, bilingual family literacy program. It aims to help immigrant and refugee families learn the developmentally appropriate ways to support their children’s early learning in creative and interactive ways and build connections between the home and school environment.

Research about IPALS shows statistically significant gains in the literacy knowledge of children. Children learn to develop language and literacy abilities that will help them adapt to their community and gain skills that prepare them for school in IPALS program.

Parents practice English in an informal setting. They get an opportunity to understand the Canadian education system and be involved in various aspects of the school community and to form social networks. They learn about their role as their child’s first teacher, and how they can teach their children in creative and interactive ways.

Teachers and facilitators enhance their understanding of working with newcomer children and families.

Decoda provides funding, training, professional support and resources to school districts and community organizations to run IPALS program with the funding support from Immigrant, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and from various other sources.  To learn more, contact Aliza Dhungana, Program Manager, at .

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