Our Approach

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PIRS staff do more than teach English. They support newcomer women by addressing their identified needs and working with them to learn and address their unexpressed needs.

Trauma-Informed Practice

Trauma-Informed Practice is at the core of our work. PIRS pioneered and advanced the use of a Trauma-Informed approach to teaching English and other supportive curriculums.  

Our trauma-informed approach emphasizes well-being, connectedness, and personal growth while equipping participants with the language and practical tools they need to function in Canadian society.

Early Childhood Education

We offer free childcare with our on-site programs to ensure accessibility for mothers. Our children’s program weaves together three early childhood education approaches: Play-Based Learning, Emergent Curriculum, and our Trauma-Informed Approach.

  • Play is how children learn. Play-based learning is a type of early childhood education based on child-led and open-ended play.  Children explore, build, create, wonder and, most importantly, they ask questions. The child’s interest leads the way. Play-based learning helps children develop social skills, motivation to learn, and even language and numeracy skills. Taking initiative, focused attention, and curiosity about the world are all a part of play.
  • Emergent Curriculum, inspired by Reggio Emilia, is a philosophy of teaching and a way of planning a children’s curriculum that focuses on being responsive to their interests. It goes hand in hand with play-based learning. Our childcare professionals and educators watch children closely to discover their interests. Then, they create activities and projects to match the children’s curiosity. Everyone gets to explore, ask and answer questions and learn.
  • Trauma-Informed Approach is the foundation for all of our programs. We recognize the universal need for children’s physical and emotional safety, so we create safe environments of choice, control, and connection. Our goal is to develop and increase coping skills and resilience. We support children to manage their feelings and behaviour through activities that allow them to safely express themselves and we engage with parents and caregivers in a respectful and compassionate way.

Pacific Immigrant Resources Society

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Women and children served

Since 1975, PIRS served 17,716 women and 9,116 children and counting.

Newcomer Support

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Women trained

84 women completed training programs in 2023 to become more effective leaders in their communities.

Women Leadership & Training

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Food hampers distributed

448 people continue to be served weekly through the emergency Food Hub.

Social Innovation & System Change

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We need donors like you to help newcomer women and their children thrive in Canada.