Story from Jen, Volunteer Coach

I recently became a Volunteer Coach because I experienced first hand as a parent what the program could do for a child and his family.

When my son, Brad, first started to lag behind in learning early reading skills, I quickly started working with him at home with the guidance of his teacher. It became a stressful experience for both my son and me. He didn’t want to do reading activities at home and I got frustrated since I worried about his progress.

The Teacher suggested that Brad might benefit from the Strong Start®: Letters, Sounds and Words program. Sometimes a child will react better to a new person and a structured program that happens in the school setting, where the child is used to the expectation that he participate in reading activities. This certainly was true for Brad.

He made very good gains in the program, finally learning all of the names of the letters, a sound for each one and more than doubling the sight words he could read. I noticed that his ability to concentrate had improved. He became more willing to read with me at home. He could tell me what he had learned in the program and then I could reinforce it at home. Brad is a more confident learner now and we could work together more easily.

Brad continued to need extra help throughout grade one, but now in grade two he is progressing without additional school programs outside of the classroom. He enjoys reading with me at home now.

I decided to become a Volunteer Coach because I know how difficult it is when you sit down to help your child and you are both frustrated. I am grateful that my son and I now have a better relationship for homework activities. I hope to help other children and families get to this point also. I also intend to continue to support Brad in learning to read and expect that, as a volunteer, I will learn even more about how best to do this.

All the extra support provided by the school, including Strong Start®, came at just the right time for my son and my family. By becoming a Volunteer Coach I hope I can return the favour by helping others.