Social support networks: A study on recent Chinese immigrant mothers and children

CERIS (The Joint Centre of Excellent for Research in Immigration Studies and Ontario Metropolis centre) has released a new research working paper (No. 66). Development of Social Support Networks by Recent Chinese Immigrant Women with Young Children Living in London, Ontario is a research study conducted by Wei Wei Da. The study was guided by two research questions:

Where do recent Chinese immigrant women with young children go for information on child-rearing?

Where and to whom do they turn to when they want help in raising young children in a new socio-cultural context?

Call for proposals: Expanding literacy studies (US conference)

An international, interdisciplinary graduate student conference on literacy studies will be held at Ohio State University April 3-5/09. Proposals will begin being reviewed as of September 1/08 and will be accepted until October 15/08.

From the conference website: The theme Expanding Literacy Studies “draws from the larger conversation on literacy and literacy studies, the many myths of literacy and the growing number of new and emergent literacies”.

9 other US universities are involved. Let’s get some Canadian scholars in immigrant children studies participating and ensure L1 issues and solutions are part of this conference.

Artifacts of childhood: 700 years of children’s books – a Newberry Library exhibit

The Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, USA, will be mounting an exhibit from Sept 27/08 to Jan 17/09 on Artifacts of Childhood: 700 Years of Children’s Books.

The exhibit will showcase over sixty books from the Middle Ages to the present day, featuring books from Europe, the Americas and Asia in many languages (a small faction of the 10,000 + collection of children’s books in all the world’s languages). In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a series of lectures and other events. I shall post when information becomes available.

Multicultural to intercultural: Libraries connecting communities

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is holding a satellite meeting Aug 5-7/08 in Vancouver BC (prior to their 2008 Conference and Congress, Libraries Without Borders, in Quebec City).

The satellite meeting theme is Multicultural to Intercultural: Libraries Connecting Communities. See the site also for a call for papers.

Visit the IFLANET site to learn about how libraries and other institutions come together to meet the needs of culturally diverse populations. Here you’ll find strategic plans, work schedules, publications and more.

Multilingual parent resource sheets from, (see blog entry here March 19/08), has published a series of parent resource sheets in ten languages, including: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Hindi, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

Topics include: Building active habits, Family routines, Parents at play, Promoting positive behaviour, and Supporting children’s play. is a collaboration of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs and settlement agencies across Canada.

On new shores: Int’l forum on issues of immigrant and refugee children, youth and families

The 2008 On New Shores: International Forum on Issues of Immigrant and Refugee Children, Youth and Families conference program is available. This is a tentative program, but we are thrilled to see so many sessions devoted to young immigrant children and their parents/families.

The conference will be held Nov 6-7/08 in Guelph, Ontario and is sponsored by Dr. Susan Chuang, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph

Some of the events, sessions and workshops with Canadian content include:

Thurs. Nov 6th, Session 2:

Z Sonia Worotynec, Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth, Valerie Rhomberg, Canadian Mothercraft Society and Ken Setterington, Toronto Public Library on The Children’s Picture Book as Immigrant Literature

Poster sessions:

Alka Burman, Early Literacy Consultant, Peel Region: Providing an Anti-Bias Environment.

Fri. Nov 7th Keynote:

Janice MacAuley, Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, Dr. Susan Chuang, FRAN, University of Guelph, Christopher Friesen, Canadian Immigration Settlement Sector Alliance: The Canadian Way: Welcoming Immigrant and Refugee Families

Fri. Nov 7th Session 4:

Judith Bernhard, Ryerson University: Por necesidad: Challenges of Multi-Local Parenting.

Mehru Ali, Ryerson University: Loss of Self-Effacacy among Immigrant Parents

Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Ryerson University and and Z Sonia Worotynec, Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth: Immigrant Children in Toronto Child Care Centres: A Language Profile.

Visit Dr. Chuang’s webpage at the University of Guelph for more information.

BC literacy program for immigrant families/children

As part of WelcomeBC (the provincial immigration initiative) the Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, the Honourable Wally Oppal, announced last week funding for a literacy program for immigrant families with young children.

The Immigrant Parents As Literacy Supporters (Immigrant PALS) program is targeted to parents and preschool children who have been in Canada for at least 3 years. Immigrant PALS will be piloted in 7 neighbourhood schools in North Vancouver, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Langley and Surrey BC.

Programs will be tailored to specific languages, including Farsi, Karen, Mandarin, Punjabi and Vietnamese. Programs will run for 3 years and accommodate 25 families in 10 workshops a year.

From the press release:

“The language and literacy abilities of refugee and immigrant families impact every area of their lives, said Oppal. This program is another creative approach that WelcomeBC is taking to ensure the successful adaptation and integration of newcomers and their families to British Columbia”.

Immigrant PALS complements the province’s ReadNow BC and the StrongStart BC early learning programs. Visit this site to learn more.

Meeting the needs of English language learners: Ryerson University event, Toronto

On May 16/08, Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners will be held in Toronto. The event is presented by Ryerson University Centre for Children, Youth and Families, the School of Early Childhood Education and the MA Program in Early Childhood Studies, the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, the Macaulay Child Development Centre and the City of Toronto, Children’s Services.

The event will be held at Ryerson University, 55 Gould Street, Student Campus Centre, Room SCC115. Introductory remarks by Judith K. Bernhard, Director, MA in Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University, Brenda Patterson, General Manager, Toronto Children’s Services and Eduarda Sousa, Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

Panel Members are:

For more info, see the notice on the right-hand side of the Ryerson webpage here or download the event flyer: ryersonevent.

Children’s books about immigration, II

The Canadian Children’s Book News, Winter 2008, Vol. 31, No. 1, includes two reviews of children’s books on immigration. In the article “Imagination & Immigration”, Toronto librarian Brenda Halliday profiles chapter-book Shu-Li and Tamara, written by Paul Yee and illustrated by Shaoli Wang (Tradewind Books, 2007). An excerpt from Halliday’s review:

“Shu-Li struggles to fit in and blend her Chinese and North American cultures. She is both embarrassed by her mother’s English and fiercely loyal to her when the cool girls from school laugh at her attempts. Though she respects her parents’ authority, she wishes to be more independent. … ultimately this is a story of loyalty and friendship…”.

Also in this issue, a review of Indian Tales: A Barefoot Collection, written by Shenaaz Nanji and illustrated by Christopher Corr which is billed as “The perfect read-aloud to foster multicultural learning” as it tells 8 stories, from different parts of India, each with a short introduction to the state’s unique culture.

The future of ECE in Ontario: Focus on the changing landscape

The Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario (AECEO) is hosting their 58th annual conference May 9-10/08 at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Of interest to the Early Childhood Working Group, these workshops, panels and presentations:

Equity and Access in ECE: Making the shift toward a critical perspective in early childhood studies and challenging the discourse of anti-bias education, with Zeenat Janmohamed, Atkinson Centre for Society & Child Development

The Young English Language Learner, with Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Ryerson University School of Early Childhood Education &

Visit the AECEO website to download the preliminary conference brochure and for more details.