The Burnaby School District has received both local and national recognition for its support of families who have recently immigrated to Canada or arrived as refugees.
The District’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program is one of five from across the country to be recognised with a national award for delivering innovative adult literacy and essential skills programs.
LINC classes are free for adult newcomers to Canada, with a view to linking them with the language and knowledge needed to start their new lives in Burnaby. Adult learners can access free child care while they learn English, which in turn helps their children develop school readiness skills and learn English through play. LINC students also improve their English language literacy through community involvement and making connections to Canadian culture.
The national award from ABC Literacy Canada includes a $5,000 grant acknowledging LINC’s positive contribution to the lives of its adult learners and the community. The 2020 Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award also rewards those who serve as a model for other organizations to adapt. The award will be presented at a virtual event in October; it will be followed by a moderated discussion showcasing award winners as models for best practices in the literacy and essential skills sector.
In addition to LINC, the District also operates a Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program, which provides support to all immigrant refugee students and their families, connecting them with resources in their schools and communities. Our 14 SWIS workers and two youth and family workers collectively speak 17 languages, and have – since the program’s inception in 2007 – provided services to tens of thousands of newcomers to Canada.
At the beginning of September, SWIS workers also reached out to families in their home language to help them understand the choices for their children in the District’s return to school plans.
Together with our valuable partners, the Burnaby School District is proud to continue its joint work to help families in our community feel welcomed, supported, heard and appreciated.
Posted September 2020