Reading Together® at Hagley Adult Literacy Centre

The following excerpts are from a Nov 2022 News article titled 'Whānau learning together at Hagley College: supporting refugee and migrant parents', available here:

Hagley Adult Literacy Centre (HALC) provides opportunities for learners to develop their literacy, numeracy, communication and computer skills, helping adults learn English, gain qualifications, find a job and participate in the community.

In their May report to the Tertiary Education Commission this year HALC noted that they had 59 former refugee learners and 245 migrant learners enrolled in their programmes. ...

"The Ministry of Education said they would provide some funding from their Reading Together® programme ... and it was agreed that the programme would be open to any adult students in college – of refugee and migrant background – who had young children not just Hagley pre-schoolers." ...

Namrud Gebreab, who is both a homework centre coordinator and a support worker providing pastoral care for refugees and migrants at Hagley, was the interpreter for the Eritrean whānau. He says that the course filled an important knowledge gap:

"The new families don’t know the systems here ... They also don’t know about reading together and how to play with kids. The parenting here is quite different. Our parents are used to hovering around their children and doing everything for them. They are helicopter parents. ..."

"Some have come back for a second programme, and I have seen a huge change in them. They are now using play and much more interaction with their children. They are reading to them and telling stories. They are letting their children be more independent."

Jocelyn says that the parents of pre-schoolers learned a lot about language development.

"They are reading together more, using picture books to guess what comes next and to build children’s vocabulary. We also talk about the difference between fiction and nonfiction – how to make reading fun, making reading a habit every night."

"There are real benefits for the parents when they get together and share experiences – and our teachers now have a much stronger relationship with whānau."

Tags: Canterbury  

Posted: Tuesday 1 August 2023