A Saint John organization is making language courses more accessible for female Syrian refugees by bringing the classroom to them.
PRUDE, which stands for Pride of Race, Unity and Dignity through Education, says many new arrivals can't leave home because of childcare demands.
"What we're offering is an addition to taking English classes, and to advancing through the levels and working basics, like grammar and punctuation," says Cindy Kilpatrick, the language co-ordinator at PRUDE.
Language classes started at the beginning of the year when hundreds of refugees came to Saint John, but organizers noticed that few women were taking part.
"A lot of these women, the Syrian women, they have young children. So what can we do to make it convenient, yet at the same time, allow them to take opportunity of learning the English language and being able to take their children with them?" said Jocelyn Stevens, managing director of PRUDE.
The language program being offered at Crescent Valley is just for female newcomers. It will give refugees a chance to learn the language in a less-structured setting.
"A lot of our newcomer clients are already getting that standardized English language curriculum, so we wanted to provide them with opportunities just to be able to practice it and feel comfortable practicing it without being tested," said Anne Driscoll, executive director of Crescent Valley.
Driscoll says around 45 Syrian families are living in Crescent Valley, so having a language program on site is ideal.
"It's so much easier for them, whether it's because of childcare, transportation,” she says. “(It’s) very accommodating for PRUDE to deliver that right here in the neighbourhood."
Those who work closely with Syrian families say the children are quickly picking up on the language, which project organizers say will benefit both them and their parents
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Blackford.