A day camp to support the integration of newcomers

Youth success
July 23, 2021 •  By Centraide

Moving to a new country introduces many challenges. One obstacle is the language barrier, which interferes with both academic and social integration. Students who attend reception classes require extra help to smooth the transition. When the school year ends, many of these children don’t attend day camps in their neighbourhood because they are unaware of the resources available to them. The health crisis further reduced access to such resources and increased children’s fear of leaving their homes. As a result, it’s now even more necessary to support initiatives that help families settle in Greater Montreal.

Centraide of Greater Montreal supports several community agencies that facilitate the integration of newcomers. Thanks to its emergency fund established at the onset of the pandemic, Centraide was able to partner with Les Loisirs St-Fabien this summer. A well-established organization in Montreal East, Les Loisirs St-Fabien runs activities for the whole family and offers a day camp where participants are encouraged to discover new things, meet new people, and learn.

Les Loisirs St-Fabien  

Les Loisirs St-Fabien aims to reduce the social isolation of immigrant families. In fulfillment of this mission, the organization set up a sociolinguistic day camp for the summer in Mercier-Ouest. The bilingual day camp offers a program of reception classes and regular classes for youth. This mix allows for accelerated learning and a smoother integration for young newcomers who are not yet fluent in French. Students have the opportunity to form friendships, strengthen their sense of belonging to their new community, and break their social isolation as they transition with ease from reception into regular classes.

By introducing youth to parks, attractions, community, and institutional services, Loisirs St-Fabien also hopes to improve their ability to navigate neighbourhoods.

Supporting youth success is an integral part of Centraide of Greater Montreal’s mission, as education is one of the best tools to combat social inequalities and poverty. The community agencies that support youth success and increase student retention develop creative and innovative approaches tailored to school environments. These agencies are essential for meeting this objective.