Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project
November 22, 2017

Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project is more than just an English class - students get to learn new vocabulary and essential skills through themes they can relate to. One of these themes is ‘Online Bullying and Peer Pressure.' With the help of RCMP Diversity Coordinator Yousef Nasimi, the Youth Literacy Project recently held a presentation and discussion on how to deal with bullies and peer pressure both online and offline.

For newcomer youth, dealing with bullies and peer pressure is unfortunately a common problem. During the presentation and discussion, students had a chance to meet the RCMP officers, ask questions, and learn how to deal with real life scenarios that occur in Surrey schools. 

Another important theme recently covered is ‘Financial Literacy.'  With the help of our volunteers, students learned how to budget and shop smart.

To reinforce carefully chosen themes, students have the opportunity to reflect and write down their thoughts and what they have learned during in-class journal writing time.  This is coupled with the opportunity to deliver mini presentations in front of fellow classmates.

Volunteers have been an amazing addition to our Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project. They offer classroom support to our instructor as well as one-on-one attention/coaching for our students.  Despite the often rain and cold weather, students find their way to Options Newton Site each week ready to learn.

Here are some experts from our students’ journals:

“This class helps me a lot. Like with my budgeting, it is pretty helpful because it isn’t easy to handle money” … “Class helps me for learning more English and for make new friends and for find a job and how to make friends and to going to Canada happy” … “By writing having right spelling words reading and a lot of things, it help me a lot” …  “This program helps me with many things, like making new friends, meet new teacher, learn more about communities, having some fun with new people” … “I like friendly atmosphere of this class. Students study fun visual examples. So we can realize the meaning of words”

Options Language Skills Instructor Brandon Koo and Options Volunteer Support Worker Alysha Baratta, took a number of youth students to a Vancouver Canucks game (tickets courtesy of Options). The students thoroughly enjoyed watching a hockey game for the very first time! 

Creating unforgettable experiences while providing opportunities for newcomer youth to improve their English skills is something we strive to achieve at the Options Youth Literacy Project.

Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project is currently funded by the Community Foundations of Canada, awarded through the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.

Check out the photo gallery!

Shared by Brandon Koo, Options Language Skills Instructor