Our mission at Strong Start® is to provide programs and services through community-wide partnerships that help young children learn to read. Experiences in the family, in early learning environments and in the elementary school years have important consequences for children’s long-term development. Our programs provide an early intervention, reaching children early in their development – before they fall behind.

Each year, our programs serve thousands of children and their families, and to-date, we’ve helped over 49,000 children learn to read. We can’t do this alone! We rely on the generosity of thousands of volunteers and financial supporters.

Every gift counts. No matter the size, you will be helping young children reach their potential.

“Leaders are readers, and we want to develop leaders. The best way to do it is to help
them learn to read.” –Scott Wagler, Partner, Josslin Insurance

Consider these facts:

Dr. James Fraser Mustard, a Canadian physician and leader in the field of early childhood education, conducted  several studies (Early Years 1, 2, 3) which demonstrated the importance of the early years in providing a healthy and competent population.

Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Prize winning economist and Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago, has conducted extensive research that proves that for every $1.00 invested in children under the age of 6, you will save $10.00-$13.00 supporting adults  and addressing social issues rooted in low literacy. Dr. Heckman uses the United States as an example but the recommendations hold true for Canadians as well. Watch this video to learn more about Heckman’s research.

According to Craig Alexander, former Senior Vice President & Deputy Chief Economist of TD Bank Group, a 1 % increase in literacy in our population could boost our national income by $32 billion. Watch this video of Mr. Alexander describing the benefits of investing in early literacy.

Making a Difference

Letters, Sounds and WordsProgram

25% of children in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 read below their grade-level. (National Strategy for Early Learning Full Report 2009)

Get Ready for SchoolProgram

Low income is a leading risk factor in a child’s ability to read and succeed in school. By age 3, children in low-income homes will have heard just 1/3 as many words as children in middle-high income homes. By the time of school entry, this number is closer to 50%. (Early Years Study 3)

Baby Connections® Program

The foundations of language development and literacy begin to be established at birth. The period of 6 to 12 months of age is a critical time for an infant’s brain development. (Zero to Three Early Language and Literacy)

Child Well-Being and Long-Term Impact

With a positive outlook and approach to reading and education, children who participate in Strong Start programs will be better prepared, have higher confidence, experience less stress/anxiety and will view themselves as successful learners. They will also have a stronger sense of belonging.

Strong literacy skills are critical as they impact every area of our lives including healthcare costs, crime rates, employment, and economic status (The Importance of Literacy: Decoda Literacy Solutions Fact Sheet). Help us give our youngest citizens the essential skills they need to be confident and successful learners. To learn more about our programs and the difference they make, we invite you to visit the Programs page.

Strong Start is a registered charity with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (#825948060RR0001). Strong Start issues official receipts for income tax purposes.