A REMOTE learning program has helped the region's migrant and refugee children improve their English language skills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services distributed more than 400 learning packs to about 67 families in term two.
Multicultural Services' community development worker Bu Gay Pah Thei said the packs - which included worksheets, crafts, and reading materials - helped parents as well as children.
"The packages are for parents and kids to learn English together," she said. "Usually the mums attend playgroup, so we wanted to make sure they were still active at home.
"We want to make sure we keep in touch with the community and make sure they know we do care and we're still thinking of them in these hard times."
Ni Thaw Paw Toobo's family received the learning packs last term. She said the packs helped her sons - aged three and six - to learn while they were stuck at home.
"English is my second language so I learn a little bit and can help them with their learning," she said. "It makes it so much easier with the colouring and everything.
"The packets are very helpful with the little stories. My older one can learn to read the story. The words are now easy for him."
Multicultural Services chief executive Rose Vincent said members of the broader community helped make the packs possible.
"One couple have donated $400 out of their pay each fortnight," Ms Vincent said. "They felt grateful to have well-paying jobs.
"They contacted me in the first week of lockdown and asked if there was anyone in need they could contribute to.
"We had been planning on how to get the packs out and this helped. Other people have given one-off payments towards this but it's that one couple who have made it really possible."
Ms Vincent said the success of the program meant Multicultural Services would deliver the learning packs also in term three.
"It has been too well-received," she said. "The community is also not quick to come out of lockdown.
"Until we can bring them back into the office, this is a good way to support those families."
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