HIPPY Yellowknife at the Northwest Territories Literacy Council
The Northwest Territories (NWT) Literacy Council has been in Yellowknife serving communities of the NWT for over 30 years. The organization has a variety of programs, with Community Connections being a leading service as it supports the immigrant population in the area.
HIPPY was introduced to the NWT Literacy Council in 2020, with many families coming from the organization’s Community Connections program. Beginning the program in the middle of the pandemic posed some challenges, but addressing the increased isolation felt by many in an already small community was necessary. For newcomers, it meant that integrating into Canadian life was even more complicated; consequently, HIPPY was a lifeline for many. Despite having to deliver HIPPY virtually, the NWT Literacy Council continued its mission to support immigrant families and foster community engagement.
Insight into the HIPPY Program:
“HIPPY is not just a program for Early Childhood Education. It’s for the family. Boosting their confidence to move forward, embrace the Canadian culture, and be active in our community by sharing our skills and talents.”
“The HIPPY program is more challenging than the activities they do in school. So, my child learns more from this curriculum.”
“When we go to a doctor’s appointment, the doctor asks my daughter questions and she is able to communicate now. She understands and can answer.”
We had a recently immigrated mom who had just given birth while raising a 4-year-old daughter by herself, as she had to leave her husband behind in Pakistan. She found the transition to Yellowknife difficult because she didn’t know anyone here, had no support, and had a young child who just wanted to go home and be with her dad.
When we were out looking for families that might want to join HIPPY, we met this mom. As soon as she learned about the program, she signed up right away. Since then, she’s been thrilled with the program and feels that her older child has learned so much from the curriculum. With HIPPY, her daughter has been successful in school, more confident, interactive, and engaged.
Seeing how much children can achieve through HIPPY and how it positively impacted her and her children, this mom has even discussed bringing the program into Pakistan because she knows it can benefit many families just like it did for her.