For around 10 months now, we have all had to adjust to a new virtual world. Our work, schooling and even social life takes place primarily through a screen. DIVERSEcity has also had to adjust to an online reality for many of our services, including our language programs and accompanying childminding services. While we have remained connected to families via Zoom, not being physically together has brought some challenges, including the issue of resources for the children.
Our educators noticed that class participation sometimes faltered due to a family’s lack of resources like activity pages or writing utensils. “When asked to draw something specific during the Zoom class, my teachers noticed that not all of the children had access to the tools necessary to participate in the activity,” says Janet Ali, daycare coordinator with the Language Instruction for Newcomer Program (LINC). This realization led the team to do some digging. They knew they needed a way to ensure that each child could have access to the same resources while at home. After watching a teaching webinar, the team became inspired. Why not create activity kits that would allow the children to participate equally in the activities? The team could create these kits and drop them off to every child so that no one would be left out.
DIVERSEcity creates a plan for making activity kits
The dedicated teachers brought the idea to LINC manager Stephen Boyd. He was immediately onboard, stating, “I was happy to see the initiative and thought that went into this idea. I am so proud.” The next step was to identify what content would be needed. The Zoom classes have a strong focus on family literacy, so the team decided to go with activities that required both parents and children to work together to complete.
“After travelling to multiple stores, I was able to purchase 18 copies of the same activity books, crayons, sticker sets and other items that would be available to use by both the teachers, children and parents,” says Janet. After planning and purchasing, it was time to assemble and begin handing out the kits.
“When I dropped the kits off to the families, I could see the visible excitement on both the child and parents’ faces,” remembers Janet. “They were all so welcoming and very appreciative.”
That Monday morning brought a whole new level of engagement and excitement during the Zoom class. All the children attended their Zoom class with their activity kits in hand. When asked to find the snow tuque activity, everyone was able to reach into their kits and grab theirs.
“After a week of using the kits, the teachers have reported that it has been very helpful in helping to deliver their curriculum,” says Janet. “The children and parents are now more engaged in the class and when they are asked to show their completed activity on screen, you could see how proud they all felt. This has definitely been a highlight for all of us during this very difficult time.”
If you would like to learn more about DIVERSEcity’s LINC program, including its childminding services, please call 604-547-1203, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dcrs.ca/our-services/english-language-programs.