Story shared by parents who wished to remain anonymous.

As newcomer and concerned parents for our precious daughter who immigrated with us to a new country at age 2, we feel lucky to have had our daughter in the program. She was just accomplishing milestones in her language development in her mother tongue, only to find herself starting from scratch, learning a new language in a new country. It stressed her and added a new challenge for us while adapting to life in Canada.

We decided to continue communicating with her in her mother tongue, to strengthen it and kept taking her to the Early Years Centre to help her learn English in the community. I was always asking about and reading about the techniques early year educators use to teach children, but with no experience with a child that likes to say “I am big enough to be in control,” teaching her was not an easy mission.

So many times I asked myself how she is going to behave when she goes to school. Is she going to follow the rules? Engage with her colleagues? As I mentioned before, I was always asking how to start teaching her the alphabet, simple science, math and how to stimulate her imagination in a positive way.

As parents, we consider our family very lucky to have enrolled our daughter in the Get Ready for School™ program, she who was insisting on being her own leader at the beginning and refusing to put her name tag on, and who hated the change from one activity to another. My daughter is now a team working child. She (at last) mentions the names of her classmate friends at home and shows empathy if someone is upset. She sat down with her father last week and proudly read her booklet to him, showing him how smart she is. She speaks about her teachers and how much she loves them. For her, every one of them is their own character. My favourite is how she described Mrs. Joyce as the teacher with lots of story books in her belt, telling me she even has a book about llamas.

I want to thank you for all of the updates you gave us in the parent meetings. It helped us a lot at home and gave us clues about what she was talking about at home, from skeletons (the hard thing inside us she said), to domestic animals, and fruits and veggies. I was amazed by the amount of information she learned and by all the activities you suggested to us to help her on her path. I am so thankful for her teachers who were always patient and caring and never hesitated to offer suggestions for me to do to work with her at home.

Wishing you and the Strong Start team a continued success.