In the Family Literacy Outreach program, we match immigrants and refugee mothers with community volunteer tutors who provide one to one training to help them build on their English language skills and other literacies.

When families immigrate to Canada, they are faced with new challenges. We at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House focus our efforts to empower newcomers to seamlessly transition to their life in Canada. Family Literacy Outreach is one of the ways we help with this transition. Tutors not only help with English skills but also play a major role in helping women find community resources and programs that will strengthen their families as they integrate into the Canadian culture (eg: how to access eye and dental care, libraries).

We know that when mothers have strong essential skills, they are better equipped to guide their young children with school work and also help with the family’s integration into the new country.

To run this project, the newcomer mothers require support from staff with materials, resources and especially during these challenging times, they need computers to virtually meet their tutors. The economical impact has been so hard on these families that they require extra support with food and basic needs.

Cooks in the Kitchen is a fundraising event for FLO where Chef Matthew Philip, Executive Chef of Shaugnessy Restaurant at Van Dusen Botanical Garden will cook a fall-inspired meal and will walk us through the techniques required to cook each dish via Zoom (online).

He will also speak to building confidence and skills in the kitchen. This virtual event is interactive, and Chef Matthew will be answering your questions as he cooks and teaches.

Family Literacy Outreach (FLO) has a vision that all vulnerable women and children can realise their strengths and capabilities. Your $100 donation will help us knock down the barriers that are currently standing in the way of this vision 

Family Literacy Outreach Highlights in 2019-2020

  • 1200 volunteer hours were dedicated to training 38 learners one to one. These homes had 110 children in total
  • Out of these, 16 learners transitioned to other English classes, educational programs or finished the program
  • 8 Computer Laptops/Tablets were given to families who needed them to connect to their tutor virtually during COVID
  • 27 mothers accomplished 30 hours of tutoring and received Completion Certificates for Learning
  • Few school-aged children of the FLO families who couldn’t access summer camp due to COVID restrictions received virtual ‘camp’ one on one sessions
  • 100% of the volunteer tutors indicated in the year-end survey that they felt significant personal fulfilment from volunteering, 93% indicated that they had improved their skills and knowledge by volunteering
  • Additionally, food gift cards were given to families to support their food needs during COVID

Collaborations to enhance the program outcomes

  • YWCA offered computer literacy program for FLO families
  • The University of British Columbia language students conducted 1-hour Zoom speaking/pronunciation sessions for learners
  • Story Studio delivered 1-hour Zoom writing sessions to learners in FLO

Linoy and Rozina


Rozina and her husband and 2 children came to Canada 3 years ago. Linoy had been tutoring Rozina for 3 months in her home, but in March they began to connect through Skype. In this lesson, they read and discuss a short article about social distancing. Rozing talks about the challenges of being in isolation now with her children and husband, but her spirit is high as she continues her learning journey with Linoy.

Morie Ford is awarded 2019’s Council for the Federation Literacy Award in BC

Morie Ford, a dedicated long-time literacy tutor, mentor, facilitator, educator and volunteer, is being awarded 2019’s Council of the Federation Literacy Award in B.C. Morie Ford is the current family outreach co-ordinator at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, where she works with immigrant and refugee families to provide one-to-one, home-based, intergenerational literacy support. For more than 30 years, Ford has championed community-based literacy programs for adults and youth. She helped launch the One to One literacy program, which recruits, trains and supports volunteer tutors to work with school-aged children. She also helped incorporate the Writers’ Exchange Society, a creative literacy program that connects Vancouver inner-city kids with volunteer tutors.

According to her nominators, Ford is a compassionate change-maker who has positively impacted many people’s lives through her hard work, dedication and big heart. The Council of the Federation, which includes all 13 provincial and territorial premiers, created the literacy award in 2004. Presented in each province and territory, the award celebrates outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy. Ford also received a certificate signed by Premier John Horgan, a Council of the Federation Literacy Award medallion and $500.