(2023, 24 minutes)
The current unsettled global political climate around immigration has resulted in an unprecedented number of newcomers seeking asylum, with nearly half of these newcomers being school-aged children. Host countries have become responsible for providing educational programming, and language lessons, and developing strategies for bolstering these children’s physical and mental well-being. Consequently, a dire demand has been created for increased research on the optimal ways to integrate newcomer families into mainstream society while simultaneously recognizing and addressing their unique backgrounds and challenges. For most families, particularly the children, schools are the initial and main point of contact during the first few critical years of transition.
Bridging the Gap tells the stories of newcomers through a strengths-based, resilient lens that highlights the depth of these families’ investment in both their future and in their children’s education. This is often cited as the driving force behind the difficult choices and sacrifices these families have to make to come to Canada.
The specific objectives of the documentary are:
To provide a professional development resource for school boards, individual teachers, researchers, and teacher education programs to use when exploring newcomer families’ successful integration into and collaboration with the school system;
To incorporate an autonomous, first-person account of the refugee experience and parents’ role as active agents in their children’s education;
To foster productive and positive relationships between resettled families and school/university partners;
To examine mental health and well-being through film and image work.
Director: Nina Sudra
Producer: Nina Sudra, Dr. Rahat Zaidi, Steve Mason