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The need to connect with the web generation is bringing many parents and grandparents to Vancouver's family literacy classes.

Most of them speak English as a second language and also struggle to understand the activities at their child's school.

But not any more - they walk their kids to school and stay back for their own classes, twice a week for around two hours each day. The program is offered in Vancouver's 10 elementary schools through Downtown Eastside Education Centre. It was established 10 years ago to cater to those parents, grandparents or guardians whose children are enrolled at these elementary schools.

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These adults were unable to attend adult-education classes elsewhere, because they can't leave their children at home or didn't speak English well enough to understand the availability of adult-education programs.

Most of the 200 adults enrolled in the program take courses to improve their English-language skills and to learn how to use the web, said David Morita, principal of the centre.

They get assignments and homework - like any regular course and also get an opportunity to connect with people who might be facing similar social barriers.

Their own participation helps them understand the activities at their child's school, with which they might not be familiar. "It demystifies the school environment for a lot of people," said Mr. Morita, who said parental participation in children's school activities has increased - a direct result of family classes.

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