Strong Start® Charitable Organization offers three programs that help children from 6 months to 9 years of age acquire essential early literacy skills. Our staff consults with others in the education and early years fields to ensure that our programs are in keeping with the curriculum expectations and best practice initiatives of the Ontario Ministry of Education and the field of Early Childhood Education. Our programs are intended for use in a variety of settings in the community.


Letters, Sounds, and Words

Letters, Sounds and Words

Letters, Sounds and Words™ is a 10-week program that targets children in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 who need a literacy boost. They are paired with trained community volunteers who go into schools to work one-one-one with them, playing carefully designed games and activities. The program is organized in 4 strands that help children recognize letters, a sound each one represents, how to learn words by sight and how to learn a word by using the sounds of its letters. The Letters, Sounds and Words program is available in schools in multiple communities in Ontario.

Get Ready for School

Get Ready for School

Get Ready for School™ is a program for preschoolers during the six month period before entering Junior Kindergarten. Over the 44 classes, children build vocabulary, learn letter sounds and practise classroom behaviours. The program is particularly beneficial for children who are learning English as a Second Language or are from a low to middle socio-economic background. The Get Ready for School program is available in community centre locations across Waterloo Region.

Baby Connections

Baby Connections

Baby Connections® is a community collaborative, lead in partnership with the KidsAbility Centre for Child Development the YMCA’s of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo and Strong Start™. Parents and caregivers receive coaching and carefully-selected literacy resources to use with their infant to support brain development and lay the groundwork for language and literacy development. The Baby Connections program is delivered through various organizations and agencies throughout Waterloo Region.