Summary of 2023 Results

  • The program was offered in 19 sites (21 programs) across Waterloo Region.
  • In total, 403 children were enrolled in the 2019 program.
    • 358 children completed the full program.
    • The program supported 162 English as a Second Language Learners (ESL), with an additional 63 children speaking English as well as an additional language at home
    • Over 55 different languages were spoken among all participants.
    • The program is designed with 44, 2-hour classes, for a total of 88 hours of instruction. On average, children attended  the program for 38 days.
  • Program Delivery Staff:
    • 68 paid Instructors,1 in-class Volunteers and 3 Placement Students supported the program.

Literacy Growth

  • Letter Sounds: Letter-sound knowledge significantly improved from approximately 1 letters to 10 letters after program completion.
  • Phonological Awareness: Improved ability to hear the sound parts in words and to segment the sound parts in words.
  • Vocabulary Knowledge: Children knew more words and on average increased their vocabulary at a faster rate than their peer counterparts, with average post-test scores indicating a 8-month improvement in receptive vocabulary.
  • 31% of children experienced 1-year’s vocabulary growth, with 14% increasing their vocabulary knowledge by 1.5 years.

Feedback from Parents

Parents were very positive about the program, instruction staff, the program activities, and the program materials. Many parents indicated their child:

  • was better able to identify letter-sounds and was starting to read.
  • demonstrated better social skills and ability to interact with peers and adults.
  • showed improved speech and communication skills.
  • felt more confident about the school setting and separating from a parent.

All parent respondents said they would tell a friend about the program.

To read the full report, visit: GRFS2023 Executive Summary