Program Support Assistant connects to immigrants

Gurleen Kaur is Decoda’s new Program Support Assistant of the Parents As Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities (IPALS) family literacy programs. Her personal experience makes her ideal for the role.

“As an immigrant from India, I deeply resonate with the challenges immigrant families face,” said Gurleen. “Speaking a new language can be daunting and I’ve seen many struggle to express themselves in English. The parents who join IPALS are taking crucial steps to ensure their children don’t face the same hurdles. Everyone has their reasons for leaving their home country and they strive to give their children the best education and support.”

In December 2023, Gurleen completed an Associate of Science degree at Capilano University and has gained valuable and diverse experience with the Capilano Students’ Union, Capilano University’s Registrar Office and CF Pacific Centre.

“I wanted this position at Decoda to be part of a team that makes a real difference in society,” she said. “Seeing the success stories from our IPALS program often brings tears to my eyes. Decoda is making a significant impact on the lives of immigrant and refugee families who might feel out of place in a new society. IPALS is a fantastic program that brings joy, satisfaction, and literacy to families. The most enjoyable part for me is visiting sites, attending events and workshops. I’m a people person, so meeting new faces and learning from them is a huge plus.”

Working closely with IPALS Program Manager Aliza Dhungana, Gurleen assists with file and document maintenance and is the go-between for vendors and school sites, responsible for shipping materials to sites, maintaining inventory and ordering supplies to ensure the smooth operation of the IPALS program.

“Gurleen is a great addition to the team and the IPALS program,” said Decoda’s executive director Sandra Lee. “She applies her attention to detail in ordering, sorting and mailing fun-filled activities and supplies to IPALS sites. She brings a passion to helping family literacy learners across BC.”

Gurleen knows the value of IPALS program and resources for immigrant families.

“IPALS offers both literacy and family connection for immigrant families who face language barriers and worry about their children’s struggles. It encourages parents to be more involved with their children during their formative years, building strong connections. IPALS bridges the gaps and creates brighter futures for kids. Many families are searching for the resources that IPALS provides.”

In her spare time, Gurleen enjoys watching Netflix, listening to audiobooks, exploring new places and spending time with family – especially her new nephew. She is also a skilled Mehndi (henna tattoo) artist!

Contact Gurleen at gkaur@docoda.ca

About IPALS

IPALS is designed for parents and pre-school-aged children to support their language and literacy development. It focuses on learning through play. Since 2008, IPALS has helped more than 3000 families from 46 countries and 35 different language groups.

About us

Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s provincial literacy organization. We support community-based literacy programs and initiatives in over 400 communities across BC by providing resources, training and funds.

Our work supports children and families, youth, adults, Indigenous and immigrant communities to help build strong individuals, strong families and strong communities.

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