Local homework club helps immigrant students

Local homework club helps immigrant students

The Homework Club. (Lyonel Doherty photo)

A relatively new homework club in Oliver is helping struggling immigrant students with their math, science and English.

South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services received a grant from First West Foundation to assist elementary school children who are struggling academically.

“We worked with the elementary schools in Oliver to ensure that the less competent, struggling students are not left behind,” said Tahira Saeed, program manager for the centre.

With the help of teachers from Oliver Elementary and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary, students between the ages of six and 12 were referred to the program.

It initially began at the immigrant centre on Main Street, but has moved to the HUB centre at Oliver Elementary School.

During the weekly sessions, the instructor provides support in math, science and English.

Saeed said the program aims to provide a structural environment for first and second generation immigrant students whose parents work long hours and are unable to offer additional academic support to boost their childrens’ learning.

The majority of clients who choose to immigrate to the South Okanagan originate from the “family class” immigration category.

“These families have extensive farming experience and have the incredible ability to work long hours; however, their literacy level is relatively low,” Saeed said.

“Parents and caregivers are therefore unable to monitor their child’s academic progress or provide academic support and supervision at home.”

By targeting the youth, the project provides indirect support to their parents and grandparents with their integration into the community.

Saeed said this further impacts the broader population by building the capacity of the families to positively contribute to their respective communities.

For more information, call 250-498-4900.

By Lyonel Doherty