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Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Star

Parents As Literacy Supporters (PALS™)

Parents As Literacy Supporters

Helping families encourage child development

PALS is a family literacy program that gives parents and caregivers new strategies to encourage learning in their preschool and kindergarten-aged children. 2010 Legacies Now partnered with PALS in 2005 to expand the program to reach more families throughout BC. With our knowledge, expertise and networks, we grew the outreach and impact of PALS and adapted the program for wider audiences, including immigrant families and Aboriginal communities. In June 2011, 2010 Legacies Now will transfer management of PALS to Decoda Literacy Solutions where it will continue to benefit communities as a legacy of the 2010 Winter Games.

Learning through play

PALS helps family members and caregivers support their preschool- or kindergarten-aged children’s early literacy development. Each PALS session focuses on learning through play, and includes time for parents and caregivers to talk with a facilitator, and time for adults and children to learn, play and have fun together.

Read the PALS FAQs
Sample session

PALS is a partnership between Dr. Jim Anderson, Fiona Morrison and 2010 Legacies Now, with support from the Province of B.C. PALS is a family literacy program that responds to the cultural and linguistic needs of the participating families and aims to provide a positive transition from home, and other early care settings, to school.

PALS in Immigrant Communities

The PALS in Immigrant Communities program helps immigrant families support their preschool- and kindergarten-aged children’s early literacy development, through interactions in English and their first language.

PALS in Immigrant Communities completed a pilot program at six schools in five Lower Mainland communities: Abbotsford (Punjabi), Burnaby (Mandarin), Langley (Vietnamese and Karen), North Vancouver (Farsi) and Surrey (multiple languages). These programs had co-facilitators lead discussions and activities in English and a second language. Support from school-family-community partnerships played an important part in the success of the pilot programs.

PALS in Immigrant Communities is supported by the Government of Canada, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Province of British Columbia, through the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Attorney General.

Interested in starting a PALS in Immigrant Communities program in your area?  Download PALS Across Communities: A Guide to Parents as Literacy Supporters (PDF)

PALS in Aboriginal Communities

In consultation with Elders and other Aboriginal community leaders, PALS has been adapted for Aboriginal communities. A facilitator’s resource guide developed for PALS in Aboriginal Communities honours the diverse cultures in British Columbia and provides activities that can be adapted to fit the needs of the community.

History of PALS

The PALS family literacy program was co-developed by Dr. Jim Anderson, a professor at the University of British Columbia, and Fiona Morrison, director of family literacy and early learning for 2010 Legacies Now. Developed in 1999, PALS began in two schools in Langley and two in Vancouver. PALS is currently active in 26 school districts and more than 250 sites throughout BC. 

Social Sustainability

As a result of the legacy development work with PALS, we have been awarded a Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Star. The Sustainability Star program recognizes Games-related sustainability innovations, focusing on social, economic or environmental benefit. Learn more about our organization’s social sustainability.

PALS is supported by the Province of BC.