Bram’s daughter was struggling to learn how to read. He worked with her at home, along with his wife, but nothing they did seemed to make a difference. In Grade 1, she was enrolled in Strong Start’s Letters, Sounds and Words program, which helped open the lid to her learning. This is their story.
Hear from parents, partners, volunteers, and champions in these videos.
Susan Fitzgerald is the Site Co-ordinator of the Letters, Sounds and Words program at Sacred Heart C.E.S. In this video, she talks about how the program is simply helping children learn their letters, sounds and words in a fun and engaging way. “The children love to come. They love to work with their volunteers. They love the games. They leave the program feeling good about themselves and it is witnessed when I do the post-test.”
This is the tale of two sisters preparing for school in the Get Ready for School program. Chloe thrived in the program and was always excited to go. She made friends and connections with the teachers. Our other daughter, Georgia, is now in the Get Ready for SchoolTM program at Centerville Chicopee in Kitchener. She is also thriving. Georgia is clapping syllables, saying sounds, and reading books.
Lori Burroughs-Miller, a Learning Resource Teacher and Site Co-ordinator at Lakewood Public School shares how co-ordinating the Letters, Sounds and Words program fits in her role at the school and the benefits she’s seen for children. “This is the first year for Strong Start here at Lakewood. Strong Start is there to support those kids who just need a little bit of extra support. Teachers have noticed a difference. The kids have confidence and they love to go with their volunteers.”
Karen Mitchell, Principal at Sacred Heart C.E.S. in Paris shares how Strong Start’s Letters, Sounds and Words program helps build community in her school. “When I first think about Strong Start, I think about community helping community. It takes a village to raise a child and so in our school, what we try to do is identify our children who need more support and we get our community members in to help us with that closing the gap for our children.”
Judy, a Volunteer Coach in the Letters, Sounds and Words program and Kiwanis Club member shares her passion for giving children the best possible start to school. “As a volunteer, seeing these children develop the gift of reading…it opens up a whole world of imagination and adventure to them. We’re always telling them that between the pages of a book, there’s a whole other world you can explore. Once you get into that world, the doors open up and you can go anywhere you wish to go.”
Before the program, getting Xander to go to school was a huge struggle for our family. I think one of the fears he had was that he didn’t feel capable, or even on par with the other children. He didn’t want to look silly in front of them. As a parent, that was really hard to take.
Jennifer McLaren-Gibbons, Principal at St. Leos C.E.S in Brantford shares the impact improved literacy skills have on children’s development. “Literacy is integral to every part of our curriculum. Strong Start gives children the opportunity to master essential reading skills in a one-to-one setting and an opportunity for them to feel success. “
Carol, a Volunteer Coach in our Letters, Sounds and Words program shares what she finds rewarding about working with children in the Letters and Sounds strands.
Each year, hundreds of caring community members are trained to help young children learn to read in schools. They are prepared for their role by attending two, 2-hour training sessions, lead by our passionate Trainers. What do they love about the Letters, Sounds and Words program?