Easton’s story in the Letters, Sounds and WordsTM program, as shared by his mother, Michelle Mann

Reading has always been an important part of our nightly routine. Ever since the kids were young, there was always cuddling and reading. Each one of them connected with books in their own way.

As Easton started Grade 1, his world opened up to learning about how to read, instead of just hearing the books. His frustration grew, as his learning style was different. He seemed to gravitate towards expression and understanding through the senses.

One day, I received a form from Easton’s class, asking if we were interested in signing him up for the Strong Start program. I was excited at the opportunity! I had the privilege of working with the staff already at Strong Start to assist with their IT need as an IT consultant. Now, there was an opportunity to have my son benefit from the tremendous work of this organization.


The results were astounding. It almost seemed like overnight when he developed his love for reading. The frustration was replaced with a desire to be challenged. He began sounding the words himself and was using tools that the volunteers used when they worked with him. He asked to read to me at nighttime during our routine.

Strong Start helped to open a passion for reading in Easton that just needed the right tools. Everyone learns in their own way and it incredible to see how much of their hard work touches so many.

Thank you to all the hardworking staff and volunteers at Strong Start for the difference you make in so many lives.