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Category: Social Issues

City of Richmond says signs in bus shelters must be in English

  LEVEL 3 Bus shelters are good places to advertise. Signs in bus shelters advertise real estate, toothpaste, credit cards, beer, entertainment and more. Most signs in bus shelters in Richmond are written in both Chinese and English. In 2015, 58% of sign permits were for “mixed language” signs. Recently, Budweiser put up an ad…

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Crisis in Syria

Crisis in Syria Adapted from The Vancouver Sun, CBC News, CNBC, and Aljazeera America by Nila Gopaul Listen to “Crisis in Syria”– Level 3 Reading by Corey Muench Civil war started in Syria in 2011. The war continues today. Over 100,000 people have died. Syria is a country in western Asia. Its population is 22.5 million. About 5,000 Syrians…

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October is National Anti-bullying Awareness Month

Bullying Adapted from bullyingcanada.ca; thebullyproject.com; and The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Level 2 Bullying happens when a person or people hurt or scare another person, again and again. Bullying is wrong. Bullies want to make a person feel small and powerless. Here are four examples of bullying:

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Help for single parents on welfare

Help for single parents on welfare Adapted from the Province of B.C. and The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Level 3 Listen to “Help for single parents on welfare”– Level 3 Reading by Nila Gopaul Free tuition for 12 months of training. Training must be in 60 in-demand jobs, such as cooking, baking, retail, office support work, early…

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Lawyer loves law

Lawyer loves law Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Level 1 Listen to “Lawyer loves law”– Level 1 Reading by Jessica Heafey Constance Isherwood is a lawyer. She lives in Victoria, B.C. Constance is 95 years old. She has 100 clients. She enjoys going to court. She likes to prepare cases for the judge. “No…

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Female “Sherlock Holmes”

Female “Sherlock Holmes” Still practising law at 95 Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson Level 3 People ask Constance Isherwood when she will stop practising law. She tells them, “Well, if you keep practising, eventually you’ll get the hang of it.” This Victoria lawyer, 95, still runs Holmes and Isherwood. She and her…

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LSS: Getting a divorce – Part 6

Submitted by Nate Prosser and Alex Peel, Legal Services Society (LSS), Edited by Nila Gopaul • Illustrations by Danette Byatt LSS – Getting a divorce, Part 6/6 Sally was in an abusive relationship. Sally and her children left home. They stayed somewhere safe. A few months have passed. A lot has happened. Now Sally is telling her friend Marsha about…

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Policewoman

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Level 3 Phyllis Mortimore joined the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) in 1943. At that time, only a few women were police officers. In 1943, none of the women were allowed to carry guns. Women also did not get the same pay as men. One day, Phyllis saw Police…

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Today is Pink Shirt Day

Adapted from CBC News by Nancy Carson A pink shirt Level 1 It is 2007.  A boy wakes up early. It is his first day of school. He is excited. He puts on his new shirt. It is pink. Read the PDF. A pink shirt-PDF Listen to the story “A pink shirt” – Level 1 Reading by Nila Gopaul…

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LSS: Dealing with separation – Part 5

Submitted by Nate Prosser and Alex Peel, Legal Services Society (LSS), Edited by Nancy Carson • Illustrations by Danette Byatt Dealing with separation – Part 5/6 Sally left an abusive relationship. Her husband hit her. She took her children and went to stay with a friend. Sally wants to be sure that she will be safe. She needs help,…

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Directions Youth Services

Directions Youth Services helps homeless and at-risk young people. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Help from Directions Directions is a safe place. Youth can get hot meals there. They can shower and wash their clothes. Youth can also relax, use computers, and learn art and music. Some people get…

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LSS: Applying for legal aid – Part 3

Submitted by Nate Prosser and Alex Peel, Legal Services Society (LSS), Edited by Nila Gopaul • Illustrations by Danette Byatt Applying for Legal Aid, Part 3/6 WCR and LSS co-publish a series offering readers information about their legal rights in Canada. Sally was in an abusive relationship. Her husband hit her. Sally left her home. She…

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Students write to a newspaper

Submitted by: Jennifer Partridge, West Point Grey United Church, ESL teacher Jennifer Partridge’s students wrote letters to a newspaper. They wanted to write about Vancouver’s traffic problems. The learners also wanted to talk about solutions. Here are three of their letters: Read the PDF. Students write to a newspaper-PDF Think about what issues affect your community….

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LSS: What is abuse? Part 2

Submitted by Nate Prosser, Legal Services Society (LSS), Edited by Nila Gopaul • Illustrations by Danette Byatt What is abuse? Part 2/6 Sally and her children are not living in their home. They are staying with a friend. They left because Sally’s husband hits her. Sally is visiting Lisa. Lisa is a community worker. That means that Lisa…

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Why can’t girls play baseball?

A girl from Vancouver becomes part of history. Adapted from The Province by Nancy Carson Level 2 South Vancouver’s Little League baseball team was in the U.S. for two weeks this summer. The team won the Canadian championships in Quebec, in early August. So, they won the chance to go to the Little League World Series. The series…

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LSS: Getting help with abuse – Part 1

Submitted by Nate Prosser, Legal Services Society (LSS), Edited by Nila Gopaul • Illustrations by Danette Byatt Getting help with abuse – Part 1/6 WCR and LSS co-publish a series offering readers information about their legal rights in Canada. Sally and Marsha are friends. One day they meet. They sit and talk. Then Sally talks about…

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Anti-bullying

  Adapted from bullyingcanada.ca; thebullyproject.com; and The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Illustrations by Nola Johnston” Level 2 In June, 2012, Premier Christy Clark announced the B.C. government will spend $2-million to help stop bullying in schools. Did you know? About one in seven children in Canada (aged 11 to 16) is bullied. There are many…

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B.C. First Nation wins land claim

Level 3 [stextbox id=”audio”]Listen to the story B.C. First Nation wins land claim – Level 3 [/stextbox]Reading by: Corey Muench Watch a video of this news story: Visit the links Read more about this landmark case (with video). For more background on this case, read this CBC article (with map).

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Immigration problem worries Maria

Submitted by Nate Prosser, Legal Services Society Level 3 Maria is a refugee from Mexico. Maria is scared. She thinks she might have to leave Canada. In 2005, Maria came to Vancouver from Mexico with her two kids. She claimed refugee status. Maria and her children stayed in Canada as refugees. They became permanent residents….

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Successful foster kids: Chris Tait

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 Chris Tait lived in foster care from the age of one. Tait is 22 years old now. He is an aboriginal youth. He lived in one foster home until he was 13 years old. His five brothers and sisters lived with him. At age 13, Tait moved to…

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Foster care and education in BC

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 Who graduates from high school in BC? About 80 percent of kids graduate from high school. Only 32 percent of kids in foster care graduate from high school. How long do young people get help from their parents? Many young people live with their parents until they are…

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Young girl fights bullying

Adapted from The Province and the Nanaimo Daily News Reposted February 24, 2016. This year Pink Shirt Day is February 24. Level 2 Alvena Little-Wolf Ear is 9 years old. She is in grade 4. Alvena was unhappy. Children at school made fun of her. They would not play with her. Annette Little is Alvena’s mother….

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Legal Aid can help

Contributed by Nate Prosser, Legal Services Society Level 3 Do you have a legal problem? Are you unable to pay for legal help? Call Legal Aid. Legal Aid is free. Legal Aid BC helps people with legal problems. Legal Aid BC can help you in many languages. Ask Legal Aid for help if: you have been…

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Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 1 What is it like after the typhoon? The cities have little food and water. People are hungry and thirsty. People are searching for food and water. They have no shelter. Doctors are desperate for medicines. Read the PDF and do the exercise Typhoon Haiyan Visit the links Where is…

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Survivor stories

Survivors of Indian Residential Schools tell their stories. Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 2 Alvin Dixon Alvin Dixon was 10 years old. He was taken from his home in Bella Bella. After that, he lived at a residential school for 8 years. Read the PDF. Try the Exercise. ]Truth & Reconciliation Survivor Stories Visit the…

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Truth and Reconciliation

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 What were residential schools? Aboriginal children were taken away from their homes. They were forced to live at schools away from their families. The schools were called Indian Residential Schools. Read the PDF. Try the Exercise. Truth & Reconciliation-Level3PDF Visit the links: Residential School Survivor Margaret Commodore speaks…

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New homes for women in the downtown eastside

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 This apartment is made from old shipping containers. The containers are stacked and finished inside. They are painted bright colours. Read the PDF.  Try the Exercise. New homes for women in the downtown eastside-PDF Visit the links: 11 uses for shipping containers 15 awesome ways to reuse shipping…

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A new family law in B.C.

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun and Statistics Canada Level 1 Every year, many couples think of love on February 14. Many couples like Valentine’s Day. They say it is romantic. Some couples go to a restaurant. Some men give women flowers. Some women give men cards. Read the PDF. A new family law in BC…

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Shipping containers become homes

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 2 We have seen these huge boxes before. They are large and strong.  We call them containers. These boxes are strong.  They are made out of metal. People use them for many things. Visit the links: Atira Women’s Resource Society The Street to Home Foundation A new use for…

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ELSA students helping the homeless

In our ELSA level 3 class, we learned about the problem of homelessness. For a 2nd year, we are collecting clothing donations (socks, toques, and gloves) for the homeless. We will distribute the clothes at a shelter for the homeless in downtown Vancouver near Christmas time.

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Youth program needs donations

Adapted from The Vancouver Courier Level 1 John Kehler works with young people. These young people are ages 12 to 18. They live on the street in Vancouver. Life is very hard for them.

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Just too much hurt… better late than never

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 – challenging The treatment of Japanese Canadians and people of Japanese descent during the Second World War is a dark period of Canadian history.  Many Canadians do not understand what happened.  Others do not want to talk about it. Read the PDF.” mright=”10 Just too much hurt, better…

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The kid and the pipeline

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson 2012 Level 2 Her name is Ta’Kaiya Blaney. She is 11 years old and in Grade 5. Ta’Kaiya lives in North Vancouver. Del, her Dad, and her mother, Anne live with her. Anne is a teacher. She teaches Ta’Kaiya at home. Read the PDF. The kid and the pipeline…

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