Meet Yuliia and Ivan

Meet Yuliia and Ivan

A few months ago they immigrated from Ukraine. Today, they attend the same school on the same schedule at Open Door Learning Center.

The Reach of Family Literacy

A mother and child arrive together to Open Door Learning Center, Arlington Hills, both ready to engage in transformative learning. What’s better than family literacy?

Yuliia and her son Ivan walk down the hallway on their way to their Open Door Learning Center classes

Yuliia and her son Ivan immigrated from Ukraine just a few months ago. Today, they attend the same school on the same schedule. It’s thanks to this synergy that Yuliia, her husband Sergei and Ivan are able to pursue literacy, together, as a family.

Ivan sits with his mom, Yuliia, as they read a book together.

Yuliia remembers how her immigration sponsor recommended Open Door as a place where she and Ivan could both learn English.

“Wow! It’s a school where you can study and your son can be with you. It’s a whole opportunity for both of us!”

Ivan plays legos with his father, Sergei, in the Open Door preschool.

At the preschool, Ivan plays and grows with children from several other countries including Honduras and Zambia.

“Now he’s counting from one to ten without any mistakes. When we’re counting in Ukranian, sometimes he leave some numbers, but in English, perfect!”

For Yuliia, the new environment of the Open Door preschool is important to her son’s wellbeing.

In Ukraine, sirens were a source of panic for the 4-year-old Ivan. With the help of teacher Rachel, Yuliia devised a plan to distract Ivan from Minnesota’s monthly tornado test sirens, replacing fear with laughter.

“It’s very important to feel comfortable and know that you are in a place where you can study and your children also study and play, and for me it’s very good.”

Photo shows Yuliia, Sergei and Ivan standing together as a family, waving Ukrainian flags.


Will you help celebrate this essential preschool program that helps families like Yuliia, Sergei and Ivan attend literacy classes?