Tips & Tools for Education and School Readiness


Supporting children and their families in the transition into kindergarten is one of the most important ways that AHS prepares children for their lifelong learning journey. Communication and collaboration between all parties is an important factor in creating a successful experience for Aboriginal children in school. AHS staff help families connect with the school district representatives in sharing information and awareness of each other’s needs and expectations.



  • The Stepping Stones to School Transition Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to supporting children, their families and members of the school system in a successful transition to kindergarten. In this free guide, you’ll find many tips and tools for creating activities that foster communication and prepare both families and school staff for a positive experience. This guide can be downloaded here: SSSP transition toolkit.pdf

  • The Parent Advisory Council offers opportunities and support for AHS parents who have children entering into kindergarten. Representatives from the local primary schools are often invited to attend meetings in order to help with enrollment, bring resource packages, and answer questions.

    “My daughter was in Aboriginal Head Start – she’s in grade seven now. She excelled when she got into kindergarten. The teacher actually asked me “Where did she go to preschool?” because she knew far more than most kindergarteners…”
    - Caroline Laughington: Former Parent, Qwallayuw AHS



  • P.A.L.S. (Parents As Literacy Supporters) A highly successful literacy program for 4-6 year olds from UBC that incorporates building parents’ literacy along with their children’s. For more info, go to: http://decoda.ca/children-families/pals/

  • Success by 6
    The Success by 6 Program for preschoolers includes a cultural component and enhances literacy and community support. The Granny & Grampa Connections Box is a valuable resource for incorporating culture into early childhood programs. Find our more at: www.successby6bc.ca

  • Moe the Mouse
    Moe the Mouse is an Aboriginal-based Program Kit developed to promote Speech, Language and Literacy at home and in the school. Moe Mouse (a stuffed toy) is sent home in a packsack for an overnight stay with a child. He brings with him a book called Mama, Do You Love Me? and a personal activity book for the child and parents to fill out together and bring back to school for sharing. This resource is available from BCACCS. Go to http://www.acc-society.bc.ca/files_2/moe-the-mouse.php

  • Learning to Read Each Other: Teaching Emotional Literacy to Children is one of many workshops offered by BC Aboriginal Child Care Society. Go to: http://www.acc-society.bc.ca/files_2/accs-workshops.php

  • Brain Gym offers tools to support Language Immersion. Find out more at http://www.braingym.org/

    “The biggest change for the students that come from Aboriginal Head Start is their language. Every child who comes into kindergarten from Head Start loves books; every child is willing to sit and look at their own book. In the past, children didn’t understand this was going to be a positive experience; they would hold the books upside down and backwards, and that never happens anymore… and their comprehension is significantly much better. So the language and literacy activities you’ve worked with have shown benefit to the children.”
    - Amber Knezacek: Kindergarten Teacher, Terrace BC



  • Dr. Jan Hare from the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of BC in Vancouver has prepared a list of Aboriginal children’s books available from our Other Resources page

  • To save money, check out children’s books at your Community Library to see which ones are suitable to buy for your program.

  • First Nations Publishers & Booksellers:

    • Gabriel Dumont Institute of Métis Studies and Applied Research – You can find Michif Curriculum resources and Métis book titles at http://www.gdins.org/publishing/

    • Good Minds – Educational resources, search by topic and/or grade level. Native owned and operated. Go to http://www.goodminds.com/

    • The Native Book Centre – Books, videos, audios and CD ROMs, search by category… go to http://www.nativebooks.com/

    • Kegedonce Press – Committed to the development, promotion and publication of the work of Indigenous writers nationally and internationally. Go to http://www.kegedonce.com/

    • Pemmican Publishers – A Métis cultural and educational publishing house for the creative and vocational outlet of the Métis people of Manitoba. Go to http://www.pemmicanpublications.ca/

    • Oyate – A Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly. For more info, go to http://oyate.org/

    • Theytus Books – Aboriginal owned book company in Penticton BC offers a collection of children’s cultural literature. GO to http://www.theytus.com/

  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AADNC/AANDC) website offers a great list of children’s literature about Aboriginal peoples written by Canadian authors. They also have multi-media, games and classroom resources at Kids’ Stop

    “We’re not just dealing with the children from 9 am to 3 pm every day; we’re helping families access services when they need it, we’re lending a listening ear to them when they need it, we’re getting them to build on the resources that they already have, and building capacity within our families to move forward…”
    - Anita Zakresky: Senior Manager, Family Wellness Programs, Prince George Native Friendship Centre