Tiffany England and Nawid Hanif

Friends of Simon tutor Tiffany England and Grade 5 student Nawid Hanif.

SFU’s ‘Friends of Simon’

March 5, 2009

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Fourth-year psychology student Tiffany England visits Roy Stibbs elementary school in Coquitlam twice a week to tutor kids who need help. England is one of 60 SFU undergraduate students working in the Friends of Simon tutoring project. They all spend several hours each week helping some 200 Lower Mainland immigrant and refugee K-7 students with their homework and teaching them literacy skills through fun and games.

The Faculty of Education initiated the program 2 1/2 years ago; it has since grown from 20 to 60 student tutors from all faculties who receive training and supervision from education faculty members and staff.

"Friends of Simon gives talented and socially aware university students an opportunity to contribute to the community while working to pay the costs of their education," says Paul Shaker, project director and former dean of the education faculty.

For England, who wants to become a teacher, it’s an opportunity to gain experience and give back to the community. "Being able to make a positive impact towards a child’s education in the community has a very rewarding outcome," she says.

Funding for the program comes from the United Way, the North Growth Foundation, the provincial Immigrant Integration branch and private donors.


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