Welcoming Newcomers - Resources to Guide School Staff
This question is often posed to newcomers: What really helped you when you first came to Canada? So many times, the answer is simple. They will say someone smiled at them or someone helped them. That’s it. And it really made a difference.
Helping to support newcomers in schools and creating a welcoming and supportive environment may take some extra time and effort on the part of school staff. Of course it comes down to the people involved, but the resources below may provide some new ideas…
The book Two Blankets by Irena Kobald is a story about the difficulties of being new—new ways of speaking and living.
This video is perfect for this month’s theme and uses images from the book Two Blankets:
Here is the story Two Blankets read aloud:
New Moves: An Orientation Video for Newcomer Students:
Available in other languages here.
Resettling to Canada
Syrian refugees settle in Canada with the help of organizations like COSTI Immigrant Services, funded by the Government of Canada. At the reception centre, refugees have access to health and counselling services, and orientation sessions that prepare them for finding new jobs. Children attend the art therapy sessions that help them cope with post-traumatic stress.
- In their article, “Promoting Involvement of Recent Immigrant Families in Their Children's Education” (2002), Shari Golan and Dana Petersen present a conceptual framework or model for how teachers and immigrant parents/families can be trained and encouraged to work as partners to improve student performance: http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/promoting-involvement-of-recent-immigrant-families-in-their-children-s-education
- A Guide for Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders: http://www.colorincolorado.org/sites/default/files/Engaging_ELL_Families_FINAL.pdf
- Teaching Refugees: www.teachingrefugees.com
- Resource Guide for Supporting Children with Refugee Experience: https://www.surrey.ca/files/Resource_Guide_-_Supporting_Children_with_Refugee_Experience.pdf
- Caring for Syrian Refugee Children: http://cmascanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Supporting_Refugees/Caring%20for%20Syrian%20Refugee%20Children-final.pdf
Building Trust with Families
How can schools create a welcoming culture and build trust with English Language Learners and their families? Our panel discusses parent involvement, school culture, and outreach opportunities to build strong bonds between home and school.
Helping young newcomers integrate in Canada
Watch how Halifax West High School helps newcomer youth learn Canada’s official languages and adapt to Canadian society. For newcomer families, successful integration of their children makes them feel more welcome in Canada.