Retired teachers Bev DeMonyé (left) and Gloria Gustafson.

Focusing on parent partnerships

Retired teachers create program to build stronger bond for learning

Two retired teachers aim to improve the learning experience for children with a comprehensive program they’ve designed for parents.

Crescent Beach resident Gloria Gustafson and fellow retired teacher Bev DeMonyé created Partners in Learning to be used collaboratively between parents, teachers and children. Through a series of handouts, the longtime teachers aim to form a stronger bond between parents and their children’s learning experience.

“What Gloria and I have found in all our years of experience is that if parents have a little bit of information, if they know they should be involved and if they know how to do it, it makes the world of difference,” DeMonyé said. “Parents are the untapped potential of support.”

In the handouts, topics range from reading to children at an early stage to preventing “the summer slide” by continuing to learn over the school break.

“The literature is full of advice, like how to read to your kids. And that’s a given, of course. But one of the things the literature focuses on are the three things you should know about reading to kids,” DeMonyé said. “We call it the talk that surrounds the text, so you talk to the kids while reading, before reading and after they read.

“Tell them why you picked the book.”

Each handout includes simple steps that can be integrated into everyday life, Gustafson said, noting that, so far, district subscriptions have been sold to Vernon, New Westminster and a small group of schools in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

“It would be wonderful to be able to sell Surrey a district subscription,” she said.

The duo aims to expand through social media and garner more awareness on their program with the final goal to have it implemented throughout the province.

“This little tiny bit of help can make all the difference,” Gustafson said. “If they don’t get on the right track in Kindergarten and Grade 1, then it’s a downward spiral, academically and socially.”

By encouraging more parent involvement throughout the child’s early years, the number of students who require extra help will reduce, allowing resources to be allocated to the individuals who need it the most, DeMonyé added.

“There are so many kids with diverse needs and it’s difficult for a classroom teacher. Any help is always welcome.”

For more information on the handouts, visit


Just Posted

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

House fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews seen racing towards 160 Street and 28 Avenue

White Rock’s Cliff Annable ‘lived a life that mattered’

Hundreds gather to remember affable 71-year-old

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Pair of men charged in three robberies in Surrey, Delta

Charged are Karmal Singh Grewal, 26, of Vancouver and Gursimran Sahota, 21, of Surrey

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

Most Read

l -->