Nonprofit Adds SD60 to Early Literacy Support Program and Appeals for Additional Support |

Grover said the nonprofit is always looking to expand its programming and invites other businesses to reach out and work with them to build their impact.

“We would like other companies to realize that they can join us. They can follow the leads of these companies,” Grover said.

IFL says it will work hand-in-hand with SD60 to provide 30 needy children with access to its literacy programs which combine high-dose tutoring and enrichment for unparalleled results.

Grover says this model is effective because it uses shorter daily tutoring sessions instead of infrequent long sessions like conventional tutoring and adds that high dose tutoring is also more cost effective.

“The reason for this is that we are able to hire, train and train paraprofessionals in the community to serve as what we call early literacy responders,” Grover explained.

“ELI come into class every day. They work with ten children per hour. These are five-minute sprints, and they work phonetically. So they give the child the kind of differentiated individual instruction that teachers struggle to provide in a group setting,” Grover continued.

In addition to providing one-on-one support for children, IFL also has virtual volunteers, sourced from companies that fund the nonprofit, who call and read to children in participating classrooms once a week for thirty minutes.

According to the World Literacy Foundation, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a catastrophic increase in illiteracy, which the IFL says requires intervention, especially in marginalized and remote Canadian communities where the pandemic has disproportionately affected children.

“Children from less advantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately impacted by COVID because their parents are challenged to provide the kind of support these children need,” Grover said.

The nonprofit said in a statement that in Fort St. John, about 30 percent of students come from nearby Indigenous communities, including Doig First Nation, Blueberry First Nation and Halfway River First Nation.

The nonprofit also works to celebrate the communities it works with and helps co-create children’s stories that aim to celebrate the strength of the communities they serve.

Although the nonprofit does not work exclusively with Indigenous communities, it does work with many communities, some located on reserves.

“The cool thing is there’s this amazing culture that we can tap into, and we can create these stories and really infuse the language of the region into the story,” Grover said.

“So the original language of the region is there, and we create phonetic spellings. And because it’s an ePlatform and they’re eBooks. We actually record the elders saying the words, and the language and the guardian or the child can click on the word to hear it pronounced with the correct pronunciation,” Grover continued.

He added that this is a great opportunity for non-natives to learn about the original language of the region and also gives children from these regions a chance to feel proud of their culture.

To find out more about the IFL or how to get involved, click on here.

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