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Citizenship and Immigration Canada Funds Literacy Program for New Canadian Families

the CanadaVisa Team - 08 July, 2015

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, a new program designed to help immigrant mothers prepare their children for kindergarten, has launched in Nanaimo, BC.

The national program, dubbed HIPPY, was created with the help of a grant from a grant from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Through the program, children between three and five years of age will develop literacy and cognitive skills with the help of their mothers. The initial funding will allow for 25 immigrant families to take part in the program. The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society has partnered with the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre to find other funding sources for the program.

HIPPY consists of a 30-week curriculum, pairing new immigrant mothers with experienced Canadian mothers who, in regular visits to their homes, deliver books and activities to them that are geared toward their child’s specific needs. Hilde Schlosar, executive director at the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, explained that curriculum consists of something different each week.

“It's reading stories and discussing the stories...creative play, constructive play with shapes and colouring and sitting down and spending that time with the process of not just playing with your child but helping your child learn and develop in that kind of play,” Schlosar said of the program.

The program is the first of its kind on Vancouver Island, and aims to secure funding to include lower-income families by 2016.

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