Strong Start®, from the beginning, has been a community-based project. It relies on hundreds of dedicated volunteers spending precious time helping children acquire the fundamentals of reading. It relies on donations from the community to provide the materials and training for those volunteers. The community that is the Region of Waterloo has always been ready to rally around its children and understands the wisdom of investing in the young child. As the 2005/06 school year drew to a close further evidence of that truth was offered by Cheryl Purdon and Wendy Schmuck, teachers at Tait Street Public School.

Cheryl and Wendy retired in June. They asked their colleagues that, in lieu of retirement gifts, donations be made to the Strong Start® Charitable Foundation. After careers devoted to young learners Cheryl and Wendy continue making a difference in the lives of many children with this gift.