What Strong Start Provides

The success of our Letters, Sounds and Words program is due in large part to the manner in which it is implemented. The design and delivery model make it possible for volunteers, with 4-hours of training, to be independent in delivering the program successfully in a variety of settings. This minimizes the time and effort required of the staff at the school using the program.

The following list highlights some of the key supports we provide to our program partners:

  • 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 on-line data entry system (SiTE SOURCETM)
  • volunteer recruitment guide, volunteer recruitment video
  • program overview video
  • online resources available for download (e.g. permission letters, recruitment flyers, etc.)
  • volunteer recognition gifts and celebration gifts for participating children

Responsibility of our Program Partners

Schools using our Letters, Sounds and Words program must designate a Site Co-ordinator who is the main contact person for the program. This person must be a staff member the first time a school operates the program. For subsequent uses of the program, the Site Co-ordinator can still be a staff member, but could be a volunteer who is experienced in implementing the Letters, Sounds and Words program and has the skills to take on this leadership role.

If there is a Volunteer Site Co-ordinator, there is still a need for a staff member to be designated as the Staff Site Co-ordinator to support the Volunteer Site Co-ordinator as needed. It is possible for two people to share the jobs of Site Co-ordinator.

The Site Co-ordinator is responsible for:

  • recruiting, screening and supervising volunteers
  • selecting children who will participate in the program
  • ensuring permission of parents of children in the program
  • scheduling the Coaching Sessions over the 10 weeks
  • arranging for the administration of pre and post-assessment of students in the program
  • ensuring volunteer and Honour Roll donor recognition
  • submitting final reports using the SiTE SOURCETM

The Site Co-ordinator receives several support manuals to assist in their role. New Site Co-ordinators and experienced Site Co-ordinators who wish to refresh their knowledge on their role, are encouraged to sign up for a training session (offered in person or online), which is provided throughout the year. For more information on training, please visit the Site Co-ordinator Training Schedules page.


All the materials needed for the program are provided by Strong Start®Charitable Organization. All non-consumable materials remain the property of Strong Start and must be returned to Strong Start at the annual conclusion of the program. Materials may not be used for any other purpose except the Letters Sounds and Words program.

Communication with Parents and other Professionals

The responsibility for communicating with others (e.g. parents) about the child’s behaviour and skill development in the program remains the responsibility of the appropriate staff members at your school. Volunteers are instructed on the importance of confidentiality and the need to pass on all information to only the designated staff person(s).

Ongoing Support

Strong Start staff members are always available to help Site Co-ordinators in their role. You can reach our Help Desk Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, by calling 519-743-9578.

Questions can also be directed to your Regional Program Co-ordinator by phone or e-mail:

Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk: Helen Kelch

Bruce Grey: Helen Kelch

Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford: Helen Kelch

Halton: Lisa Williams

Hastings Prince Edward Lennox Addington Frontenac: Lisa Williams

Simcoe Muskoka: Lisa Williams

Waterloo Region: Iwona Dmitrienko

Wellington: Lisa Williams