Sean’s story was one of Strong Start’s first videos. He participated in our Letters, Sounds and Words program back in 2011. Over the 10-weeks, his skills, confidence and self-esteem grew. We followed up with his mother, Carolyn, recently who filled us in how school is going for Sean now. He stills dreams big and bright.
The Get Ready for School program was offered in 16 sites across Waterloo Region, and served a total of 318 children. A total of 90 children in the program did not speak English on a regular basis at home, with an additional children children who spoke English as well as a second language at home. The program was supported by 39 paid instructors, and 34 volunteers, who gave approximately 940 hours of volunteer time to the program.
Letters, Sounds and Words Program Summary Overall 94% of the children made considerable, excellent or outstanding gains. Enrolment 3,186 children were enrolled in the fall and spring rounds. The program is designed as a 10-week … Continued
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.”
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.
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.
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. “
During National Volunteer Week, the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener Waterloo and Area presents the Volunteer Impact Awards Gala to honour individuals, teams, and organizations for the generous gifts of time in Waterloo Region. On Thursday, April 27th, 2017, two such community champions involved with our organization were honoured and publicly recognized for their kind contributions.