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.”
In February 2014, I was struck with some hard luck as I had just been laid off from my job and now had to move. I decided to take some time off with my youngest son before he was to attend school that September. Thankfully, someone had recommended attending the local early years centre for various programs for adults while their children attended their own programs in different rooms. Given Easton’s age, he was able to attend the Get Ready for School program while I attended a social group for parents. The program was fantastic!
I am so impressed with the Get Ready for School program offered at Kinbridge Community Association in Cambridge. The staff, the curriculum, and the day-to-day activities have far exceeded my expectations! Zachary went into the program knowing the letter “Z” and is leaving with the ability to identify all of the letters. He can even read simple words.
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.”
I just wanted to share some feedback regarding our experience with the Get Ready for School program. Prior to attending, Mateo had limited knowledge of the alphabet. Now, nearly 3 months later, he can identify most letters and accompanying sounds. The books that are sent home serve as great practice and reinforcement. Mateo is excited to identify letters in posters, billboards, pictures, etc.
Our partnership with the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO) – District 11 Waterloo has continued to grow. On May 18, 2017, we were honoured to receive $1,220 in Presidents Choice, Walmart, Dollarama and Sobeys’s gift … Continued
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.
Reading has always been an important part of our nightly routine. As Easton started Grade 1, his world opened up to learning about how to read, instead of just hearing the books. His frustration grew, as his learning style was different. One day, I received a form from Easton’s class, asking if we were interested in signing him up for the Strong Start program. I was excited at the opportunity!
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. “
I volunteered with the Strong Start program through Nipissing University in Brantford. I am in the concurrent education program for the junior/intermediate level and decided that Strong Start training would be good practice for my teaching career.