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Unique Experiences Support Students Who are New to Canada

Much work is underway across the District to support children, youth, and their families who are new to Canada. The District’s Settlement Workers in Schools or SWIS program offers help – often in people’s first language – resources, programs, and connections with the wider community through partnerships. What follows are some recent examples.

Connecting After School Through Joy of Art

A group of newcomer students are part of an after-school group called Joy of Art that’s arranged by SWIS staff and held at Westridge Elementary. The class includes children aged 6 to 11 from Mexico, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Natalya Khan, the Manager of Settlement Workers in Schools, says the program has many benefits:

Its purpose is to create a space for newcomer students to express themselves through art, as well as to create an opportunity for them to connect with each other. These students are from all over the world. Art is like a therapy that transcends borders and languages.”

The community-building activity is led by Olena Bahonovets, a parent volunteer and recent newcomer who began teaching art classes to children in Ukraine.

Seizing Opportunities and Making Friends Through Simon

Nearly 200 newcomer students from 12 different elementary and high schools participated in a SWIS-led field trip providing post-secondary exposure. As part of the Friends of Simon program, a District community partner, the students worked on a variety of projects as they visited multiple faculties at Simon Fraser University.

Activities for the children and youth from Grade 1 through 12 included a science project about DNA, engineering a catapult, and a scavenger hunt. The event was also a chance for newcomer students to build community with one another.

Read More

Learning About Cultures and the Strength in Our Differences
April 2024
Newcomer literacy program celebrates the end of its 15th season
Burnaby Beacon, December 22, 2023
Supporting Newcomers with Connection and Learning
December 2023
Cultural Traditions and Practices Honoured
May 2023
Burnaby school district gets unexpected influx of students from outside Canada
Burnaby Now, March 2, 2023
Ukrainian teens get help with stress, anxiety at Burnaby pilot program
Burnaby Now, February 13, 2023
Helping Ukrainian Children Get Ready for School in Burnaby
September 2022
Ukrainian refugee families find friendship, support through B.C. reading club
CTV News, August 13, 2022
Honouring Community Traditions and Practices
May 2022
Refugees from war torn Ukraine land at Burnaby schools
Burnaby Now, April 11, 2022
Help for Refugees Dealing with Trauma
April 2022
District and Partners Support Refugees with Technology
December 2020
District Recognized for Supporting Immigrants & Refugees
September 2020
Burnaby Community Supports LIteracy Week in Schools
January 2020
How Sharing Culture is Connecting Adult English Language Learners
February 2019


Posted June 2024