Friends of Simon

FOS Podcast Launched!

We’re pleased to announce that the Friends of Simon Podcast! “Simon's Stories” has launched!

Episodes will be available to listen to on our Friends of Simon website. More specifically, on the "FOS PODCAST" tab located on the left menu bar.

You can also tune into our podcast directly on SoundCloud, our username is fosimon.  

We hope that you’re equally as excited as we are for our first-ever podcast launch!

Next Hiring Drive: October 10-20, 2023

Want to become a FOS tutor? The date for our next hiring drive will take place from October 10-20, 2023. Further updates can be found here or on our instagram account: @sfu_fos. Applicants must apply through MyInvolvement to be considered. We look forward to reading your application! Gain meaningful experience & leadership skills while having fun! Please email us at if you have any questions and allow 3-5 business days for a response.

Our Mission

Universities in Canada are associated with teaching and research, but they also have a great capacity for service to their communities. Friends of Simon, an award-winning SFU Faculty of Education initiative, brings together an attitude of inquiry, our instructional knowledge, and our students, in order to provide literacy tutoring for school-aged children and youth.

Friends of Simon recruits, prepares, and assigns university students as literacy tutors in the Lower Mainland, particularly with newcomer K-12 students. With our cooperating sites, Friends of Simon works to increase school success through after-school, Saturday, and summer programs in small group and individualized settings. Instruction is based on current trends in pedagogy and tutors receive their training and supervision from members of the Faculty of Education who themselves are involved in educational research. Friends of Simon is an SFU Faculty of Education outreach project supported by the United Way British Columbia (UWBC)David Mowafaghian Foundation, The Gadhia Family, Porte Industries, Vancouver Foundation, Vancity Credit Union, City of Vancouver, North Growth Foundation, Ted Rogers Scholarship Fund, William and Nona Heaslip Foundation, Employees of Rogers B.C., Dr. Steve Marshall, SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC)Heritage Education Funds, and Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan.

Draw Forth All

We ourselves learn as we teach and we redesign Friends of Simon in light of our experience conducting instruction. Our mission is summarized by the phrase, Draw Forth All, which combines the Latin root of the word education ("to draw forth") with the moral commitment of Nobel Laureate and SFU honouree, Bishop Desmond Tutu, specifically his call to serve and honour all people.

Teaching is often seen as the transmission of knowledge, in the manner of filling up empty minds. Education, however, is a process that builds on the prior experience of the learner and evokes new learning through engagement, questioning, and acknowledgment of the individual.

— Paul Shaker, Professor emeritus and Friends of Simon Director.

Friends Of Simon Field Trip 2019  

FOS aims to enhance the educational expereinces of immigrant and refugee children and youth through after-school tutoring and mentoring sessions.

These interviews are from our annual Field Trip. Listen to some of the stories from our tutors, students, site coordinators, and program coordinators.

Special Thanks to, supporters, funders and partners of Friends of Simon, the social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, frames Film Program, and Dr. Kris Magnusson.

Friends of Simon x Equitas Community Project

For the first time, Friends of Simon collaborated with our long-time partner, Equitas Canada, to create a youth-led Community Action Project. Our tutors worked with students from one of our elementary school sites to discuss children's rights and identify human rights issues in their community. The youth came up with the idea of making COVID-19 Goody Bags to provide relief to families in need who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as newcomers and refugees. Read more about the project here:

Read more about the learning process here:

A message from a student:

"I learned about human rights, and learned about people in my group. I enjoyed working on the community action project, if only it was every day of the week. If I could do this whole process over again, I would want to meet everyone in the community room (in person). I feel very happy to do something for my community. I am proud and happy. The main thing I want people to know about our community action project is that we were working together and we learned about human rights."

This opportunity is recognized on the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), an official University document that tracks students’ co-curricular involvement at SFU.
Friends of Simon thanks Tesh Chhachhi from Heritage Education Funds. (photo: Paul Shaker/Tesh Chhachhi)

Our Annual Friends of Simon Evaluation Report (2020/2021) has been released that outlines and highlights the impact FOS has on our community and students. See below for the downloadable PDF.

Pictured aboved are the Friends of Simon Coordinators, Angela Flumerfelt and Kanwal Neel reconnected with former Friends of Simon Tutors at the Outstanding Alumni Awards. @SFUAlumni


Pictured above are the Friends of Simon Coordinators, Angela Flumerfelt and Kanwal Neel. Alongside the Program Director, Kris Magnusson and the two Program Assistants of 2020-2022, Brianna Condilenios and Grace Han at the Christmas Education Staff Gala. 

Porte Communities 

Friends of Simon is so excited to partner with Porte Communities. Over the summer they granted us this gift to enable our program to continue to provide free after-school tutoring to at-risk, vulnerable and newcomer students in Port Moody and at our other sites. Thank you to David Porte and all @portecommunities for your generous support!

Covid-19 update: A Message from the Tutors 

When Covid-19 first hit, Friends of Simon stopped all in-person tutoring. In order to keep our communities safe, for the first time our program transitioned to fully working remotely. 

The Friends of Simon Tutors wanted to send a brief message reminding our students that we are still thinking about them through these uncertain and challenging times.