School workshops to help new immigrants 0
Vancouver Technical Secondary School is hosting Vancouver school district's orientation event for new immigrant parents, described as the biggest event of its kind in B.C.inVancouver, B.C., Sunday August 25, 2013. (KEVIN HILL/ 24 HOURS)
The Vancouver School District is currently holding workshops in eight different languages to prepare new immigrant parents and students for the upcoming school year.
The workshops run through Friday at Vancouver Technical Secondary in conjunction with a community resource fair that partners 43 agencies. It is being hosted over multiple floors of the East Broadway school and provides such services as translation, settlement assistance, youth programs and more.
“Many secondary school students come here as late teens,” Jerry Wu, the Settlement Workers in Schools program manager, said Monday. “They don’t have the language (skills).”
He said parents enrolled at a Vancouver school in the fall are automatically registered for the information workshops. They include details on graduation requirements for high-school students and an introduction to the English Language Learner program, formerly known as ESL.
For parents of elementary students, workshops will be held through Tuesday to discuss what to expect in a primary grade setting.
Tours are being held for parents who are free to explore Vancouver Tech. They can also tour nearby Laura Secord Elementary to see how local schools are typically laid out.
Grade 10 student Eman Al-zubaidi was formerly in the Engage Immigrant Youth program supported by seven Vancouver secondary schools.
Now a volunteer in the program, she described how it helps immigrant youth “break the ice” with others through field trips and meetings held each Friday.
“Usually after school, once a week, we get together with activities, ice breakers to help people know each other,” she said. “You can meet students from other schools.”