Arsalan Syed – Volunteer of the Month for January 2022

Arsalan Syed smiles widely at the cameraArsalan is originally from Pakistan and has been in Canada for over 20 years. Passionate about giving back to his community, Arsalan spends his time volunteering with Immigrant Services Calgary's Early Learning Across Cultures (ELAC) program. Arsalan's positive nature and unique approach to engaging children and families has had a tremendous impact on the program participants. The children have gleefully enjoyed having a male role model who facilitates craft activities, tells them stories, and dances and sings with them. As a graduate of a geology program, Arsalan was also able to share his knowledge about rocks with the kids in a way that they could easily understand. His approach and methods of teaching have been very beneficial to all participants, illustrating to parents how healthy interactions with children can look like. Moreover, more fathers got involved in the classroom this year than ever before and we believe that to be thanks to Arsalan’s efforts and enthusiasm. This is his story:

“I joined Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) in late April 2021 and started volunteering in weekly Zoom classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was instantly invested in setting up fun activities, reading stories to the children, and using boom cards to teach. It was always amazing to see the bright smiles of all the kids throughout the year.

"The best part was seeing the kids develop their reading, fine motor skills, and writing skills as the classes went on. I realized that the activities that we do have such a major impact on the kids.

"Additionally, I find the ELAC program unique as we get an awesome opportunity to teach kids pre-school requirements along with cultures from around the globe. I look forward to continuing volunteering with ISC.”

Testimonials from parents

“Teacher Arsalan is a wonderful teacher. He has a nice smile. He is always helpful with the children and patient. He is also creative and carries the children along in various activities.” – ELAC Participant

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank teacher Arsalan for been a great teacher. He is always encouraging the children during the activities. Thank you for taking the time to teach our children.” – ELAC Participant