Working with students to develop language skills is very rewarding. Now that I'm teaching, I appreciate the one on one attention, the Strong Start program provides. As students build their language skills, their confidence grows - it's incredible to be a part of that! Strong Start is a valuable addition to school programming and an incredible experience.

Teresa Rothwell, Grade 6/7 Teacher, Former Volunteer Coach

“I think what I appreciate most about the Strong Start program is that it’s been developed by educators, it’s been vetted through various aspects, and it’s been edited along the way. It’s a solid program and I appreciate that it’s play-based, which is developmentally appropriate for children at this age level. It’s also interactive, and fun.”

Jenny Guibert, Professor in the Faculty of Education, Nipissing University

“This program supports the Ontario curriculum because everything that is done within the program is research-based. For example, phonemic awareness is supported in the sounds portion of the program and we know from research that phonemic awareness is one of the best predictors of future reading success in children. This is just one of the things this program does for young children. “

Kristiina Montero, Professor in the Faculty of Education, Wilfrid Laurier University

“I think the biggest change I’ve noticed in children going through the Strong Start program is their increased confidence. They really see themselves as readers, and that’s very exciting.”

Dayle Buller-Power, Principal

“What sold me on the Strong Start program is that there is training involved in the program for volunteers. So it isn’t just about reading a book to a child, it’s about being trained in proper educational techniques, to be able to support children in their development of literacy skills.”

John Forbeck, Former Director of Education, GEDSB

“The Strong Start program helps our students to gain confidence and knowledge in letters, sounds and words and it also allows students to go back into the classroom and use that knowledge to read. It’s amazing to see students read for the first time, and that light that comes over their face.”

Darryl Casey, Principal

The Strong Start Letters, Sounds and Words program is unique in that it involves the community and, in my opinion, that is one of its best features. From the pre-test and post-test we can also see that it does increase student achievement. But one of the biggest benefits of it is the impact it has on a student’s self-esteem and their confidence. “

Danielle Becks, Early Literacy Consultant

“Reading is the foundation of all other subjects, so it’s great that they are getting a Strong Start in that subject area so that their other skills can develop as well.”

Elizabeth Martz, Principal

“The Strong Start program has made a huge impact in our school community. Our struggling readers now feel comfortable and competent in their learning and are able to take a more impactful approach in the classroom environment.”

Penny Eckhardt, Vice Principal

“The Strong Start program is beneficial for the students in our school. You see how it builds their confidence. They are absolutely excited when their volunteer enters the room and brings them to their program…you see them skipping down the hallway. It’s a wonderful experience and they build their literacy skills which they bring back to their classroom.”

Bobbie Chatha, Vice Principal

“For me, the Strong Start program is really important because it embraces the wider community. You have more community members coming to the school, helping children out. It takes a whole village to raise a child. I really believe in that and Strong Start fosters that type of program.”

Bruce Alexander, Principal

“Our English Language Learners tend to do extraordinarily well. They really have a tremendous increase in their ability with letters, sounds and words. It’s not just that though. What’s really impactful with English Language Learners is that they develop an amazing sense of self confidence from working one-on-one.”

Wendy Campbell, ESL Itinerant Resource Teacher