Involvement of parents in the lives of children is essential for healthy growth and development of the children.
Basic activities like assisting with children’s homework, participating in children's emotional well-being and keeping informed about any issues children may be facing in school, are minimum expectations from the parents of primary school going children.
Unfortunately for many families, this may be harder than it seems due to simple reasons like language barriers.
Many children who go to Primary schools in Australia come from families who do not have English as their first language. In many cases, the parents do not speak English at all and as a result find it hard to understand and engage in their children's school activites.
Lack of English language skill can also present other hurdles for parents like unemployment, which eventually affects the children negatively.
The Learning Link project established by commUnity+ partners with schools to engage with parents who have limited or no English language skills and motivates them to attend English language classes in the school. The classes are held during school hours, in a safe environment and facilitated by trainers who have specialist skills in adult education and working with culturally diverse communities.
At present, Learning Link supports parents of school children in the Brimbank region in the West of Melbourne. The project aims to address language barriers and enable parents to participate in their child’s school life and assist them to gain employment.
Benefits of the program include:
- Parents can learn from one another and share their concerns and experiences in a safe environment
- Improvement their speaking, reading and writing skills in English
- Improvement in mental health and wellbeing of families
- Access to other social support services and referrals
- Improved relationships between schools and parents who have limited English language skills
- Support for parents from emerging communities to integrate into the school community and participate in their children’s education
- Support for parents to participate in community activities
- Addressing social isolation and improvement in social participation
- More pathways for parents to pursue other education opportunities and gain employment
- Improvement in their economic situation in the long term
We need your help to continue providing this support through the Learning Link program. We are in desperate need of funds to pay for the trainers who take these classes as well as things like books and other materials for the students.
Your contribution will make a difference to the lives of children in emerging communities.