Raise-a-Reader helps Afghan refugee mother of five learn English, prepare for nursing school

September 19, 2020

By Vancouver Sun |

Improving English skills is tough enough for newcomers to Canada but for some it has to be juggled with raising children under the trying circumstances of COVID restrictions.

Frida Sarwar Khan relies on the English Foundations class offered in her Burnaby neighbourhood for help  with her English and with everyday toiletries for her five children — three boys, aged 12, nine and seven, and two girls, aged five years and seven months.

Khan is in her fourth year at the literacy program offered at Edmonds Community School by the Canucks Family Education Centre, and she is grateful for the extra help.

The program is called Partners in Education (PIE) Plus, and it is one of several that are partly funded through the annual Vancouver Sun’s Raise-a-Reader literacy campaign that launched this week.

“They always support us,” she said.

She gets daycare while she attends classes and receives diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, gift cards for food and cloth face masks.

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