My son started having behaviour problems in kindergarten and he was soon showing signs of having difficulty learning to read. His behaviour was already starting to result in suspensions from school. His kindergarten teacher was determined to help and she is someone who just never gives up and always involves parents! The school’s resource teacher also got involved. They set about creating a plan for Nathan. They made changes in his classroom program and involved him in extra programs such as anger management.

When he entered grade one he wasn’t ready to read. He could name only 10 of the letters of the alphabet, give a sound for only 3 of the letters and knew only 3 words on the list of 28. Children are expected to know all of the letters, a sound for each and more words by the end of kindergarten. Nathan was already behind his peers.

The Strong Start® program was introduced at the school that fall and so the staff added this program to the package of supports they had for Nathan. He loved the extra attention from his Volunteer Coaches and did very well in the program. He actually went through the program twice and by the end of the year he knew all his letters and sounds and 25 words on the list of 28. The best part was that he was now reading! In fact the assessment showed he was now reading in the average range for grade one. In addition, being in the Strong Start® program helped him work harder to control his behaviour since he didn’t want to miss his special time with his personal Volunteer Coaches. In fact, he didn’t get suspended for the entire time he was in the program.

I was very proud of my son and very grateful for the efforts of the teachers and the Strong Start® Volunteers.