Suhla and Iris: “We also learn, mums and the kids”
Starting a new school can be difficult. But when you’ve just arrived in a foreign country and lack the English skills needed to learn and keep up, it can be especially challenging. That’s one of the reasons Sulha feels so lucky to be part of United Way’s early literacy program.
It’s very good for our kids, and not only kids, parents also. We are very new, and sometimes have trouble speaking English. We also learn, mums and the kids.”
As part of our work, Sulha’s daughter Iris is sent a quality, age-appropriate book each month, while Sulha receives tips to help her get the most out of every story. By encouraging shared reading, the program is helping Iris build her English vocabulary and reading skills – which will be critical for her success in school.
Without programs like this, statistics show the future could be very bleak for children like Iris. Starting school without the language and literacy basics needed, the odds are that Iris would never be able to catch up with her peers. And without a good education or strong literacy skills, Iris’s chances in life would be severely limited. But thanks to United Way and our fantastic supporters, Iris is now well on her way to start school ready to read and succeed.
“She already knows 1 to 10 and A to Z and some words and animals, lots of things. The one thing that is very good is that she is ready to go to school.”
For Sulha, it’s the generosity of the people that support United Way’s literacy programs to make a good education possible for families like hers that’s truly remarkable.
“I am so thankful. (These books) are lots of money – you’re giving those families and kids an education, so kids can have a better life. Iris will go to school ready – I’d like if she could do something good for Australia.”