Information for Prospective School Board and School Partners

With a goal of provincial expansion, for our Letters, Sounds and Words™ program, we’re looking for new school board partners.

About Us

Our Letters, Sounds and Words program has been specifically designed to help young children who need extra practice in learning fundamental early reading skills. As a registered Canadian charity, Strong Start® Charitable Organization is supported through financial donations from charitable foundations, service clubs, corporations, individuals, community groups and school board fees.

Strong Start works closely with its school board partners to ensure that the Letters, Sounds and Words program aligns with the best practice initiatives of school systems and current educational priorities of the province.  This high-quality program provides the opportunity for schools to engage trained community volunteers to work one-on-one with children. All materials, training and administrative tools needed to implement the program in a school are provided by Strong Start.

Our program has undergone an in-depth review to ensure maximum alignment with the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Right to Read Report, the Science of Reading and the specific expectations in the Kindergarten Program and the Ontario Language Curriculum. To learn more, please read the following resources:

About The Program

The Letters, Sounds and Words program is a unique 10-week program for 5-7 year-old children delivered by trained community volunteers. Developed by a retired educator from Waterloo Region, today the is used in over 300 schools, across multiple school boards in Ontario. The program uses carefully designed, short games/activities which through repeated practise help young children learn the names of letters, a sound each letter represents, how to build words using the sounds of the letters, and how to read words. Volunteer Coaches work with one child at a time and follow prescribed activities using the materials and manuals provided. The program and the training sessions enable volunteers to deliver the program very independently.

There is also an adaptation of the Letters, Sounds and Words program available specifically for Multilingual Language Learners in Grades 3 and 4. To learn more about this program, visit the Adaptation for Multilingual Language Learners page.

What Strong Start Provides

Strong Start provides all materials and manuals needed to deliver the program. The following list highlights some of the key supports provided to the school:

  • program kit consisting of two bins of professionally developed games and activities
  • user-friendly, detailed manuals describing how to play the games / activities
  • 4-hours of training for all volunteers (two, 2-hour training sessions)
  • manuals and training for the Site Co-ordinator at the school, responsible for the program
  • guides to support conducting pre and post-assessments
  • training / support provided to use Strong Start’s proprietary web application (SiTE SOURCETM)
  • Volunteer Information Portal™ (ViP™) for trained Volunteer Coaches to find schools that need them, augment their training and get answers to frequently asked questions
  • volunteer recruitment guide, volunteer recruitment video
  • program overview video
  • online resources available for download (e.g. permission letters, recruitment flyers, etc.)
  • volunteer recognition gifts as well as celebration gifts and certificates for participating children

For more information and to arrange a meeting/presentation, please contact our Director of Program by phone or e-mail.