Billy is a big boy. His size makes him a natural leader among his peers. He didn’t know his letters and he didn’t care. It wasn’t important to him. His size gave him all he needed –- the respect (and fear) of the other children. When Billy wasn’t happy, those around him weren’t happy. He was a frequent visitor to the Principal’s office for behaviour problems. Billy wasn’t the typical child to be referred for Strong Start®, but the teachers saw a unique opportunity at their particular school. It was felt that the best placement for Billy would be with Steve Talpai, the only male Volunteer Coach at King Edward.

When his teacher recommended Billy for Strong Start®, he didn’t want to go. Billy met Steve with a frown. He wasn’t happy being forced to learn his letters, sounds and words. Before long, however, Steve had him smiling and looking forward to his one-on-one sessions. Steve worked on improving Billy’s self-image in school. He made it possible for Billy to experience success in “school work”. By the end of the 10 weeks Billy had mastered reading a book. He was encouraged to take the book to the office to read it for the Principal. The wide smile of satisfaction on his face said it all! Finally, Billy was in the office for something good.

There has been a noticeable change for the better in Billy’s behaviour due, in large part, to his relationship with Steve, his Strong Start® Volunteer Coach.