Summary of 2017 Results

  • The program was offered in 16 sites across Waterloo Region.
  • In total, 318 children were enrolled in the 2017 program.
    • 304 children completed the full program.
    • The program supported 131 English as a Second Language Learners (ESL), with 43 children speaking English as well as an additional language at home
    • Over 40 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 37 days.
  • Program Delivery Staff:
    • 39 paid Instructors, and 34 Volunteers supported the program.
    • Approximately 940 volunteer hours were given to deliver this program.

Literacy Growth

  • Letter Sounds: Letter-sound knowledge significantly improved from approximately 1 letters to 12 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 their scores on a receptive vocabulary measure increased from the 47th percentile to the 63rd percentile.
  • Children’s vocabulary improved faster than what would be expected from normal growth over a 5-month period.

Feedback from Parents

Parents were very positive about the program instruction staff, the program activities, and the program materials. Many parents indicated that their child was better able to identify letter-sounds and was starting to read; better social skills and interacting with peers and adults; improved speech and communication; and feeling more confident about the school setting and being without a parent. All parent respondents said they would tell a friend about the program.