Nfld. & Labrador

Ready for back to school? Association for New Canadians needs help making sure its kids are

The Association for New Canadians needs your help to send children off to their first day of school with all the right gear.

ANC helps hundreds of new Canadian youth every year in St. John's alone

Tilak Chawan and Burke Brokenshire are co-ordinators with the Association for New Canadians' child and youth programs. (Gary Locke/CBC)

It's getting closer to that time of year.

Back to school. 

And the Association for New Canadians (ANC) needs your help to make sure the children it serves have the supplies they need to go to school next month — and all year.

"As we know, conflict around the world doesn't conveniently pick the first day of school to send us new children," said Burke Brokenshire, a co-coordinator of child and youth programs for the ANC in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The association delivers school supplies to school-aged youth who are new to this province, and Brokenshire said the simple gesture of providing something that's needed goes a long way.

"It helps a family who maybe came from a difficult background really feel welcome here."

Easing the transition

Fellow co-ordinator Tilak Chawan said they "heavily rely" on donations, and work to stock up the cupboards while back-to-school is on people's minds as the ANC's programs help hundreds of children in St. John's alone. 

"Throughout the year we see a lot of newcomer children and youth in our province where we support them to integrate them into a new school system," said Chawan. 

The ANC needs help with donations of backpacks filled with school supplies to help new Canadian families prepare their children for school. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Chawan said the items are often donated by community groups, church groups and individuals.

Help with a head start

Chawan said the ANC's programs help new graduates transition into post-secondary education as well, making sure its community is well-supported. 

The association understands the necessity to help new families, in new cultures, get a head start on their new lives in Canada, he added. 

Helping those families with school supplies helps take away some of the financial stress, especially in families with more than one child. 

The ANC child and youth program organizers say every donation helps, and they rarely turn anything away. (Gary Locke/CBC)

"It really helps a tremendous amount, both financially but in other areas as well," said Brokenshire. 

The ANC is asking for donations of backpacks, exercise books, binders, pencils, pens, markers, glue, scissors, calculators, water bottles and anything people may have lying around that could be of use to a young student.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Carolyn Stokes