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Family Compass Waterloo Region


Strong Start

About Strong Start to reading™

Strong Start® Charitable Organization offers a literacy program called Letters, Sounds and Words™, which has been specifically designed to help young children who need extra practice when learning essential early reading skills. To learn more about Strong Start, please visit their website.

The Letters, Sounds and Words program in our schools

Strong Start’s Letters, Sounds and Words program is a fun and engaging way for community members to help young children acquire the essential literacy skills they need to be confident and successful learners. This 10-week program targets children in Senior Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2 who are lagging behind in their early reading skills. Children are matched with trained community volunteers who come into our schools to work one-on-one with them, playing carefully designed games and activities. The program is designed in 4 strands to help children learn the names of letters, a sound each letter represents, how to recognize words by sight and how to build a word using the sounds of its letters. Classroom teachers select which children would most benefit from this program, as well as the strands in which they should be enrolled.

How you can get involved at Strong Start at our schools

You can make a difference! Volunteer and help a young child learn to read in a local school. Contact the school’s Strong Start Site Co-ordinator to get involved.

As a Strong Start volunteer, you will:

  • Attend two, 2-hour training sessions
  • Work one-on-one with a child in SK, Grade 1 or 2 in our schools
  • Play games to develop the child’s literacy skills (all games and materials are provided)
  • Make a minimum time commitment of 30 minutes/week for 10 weeks

“It’s so exciting to see a child start on that path of identifying letters and sounds…it’s amazing to watch. I would highly recommend this program for anyone who wants to volunteer.” – Bethany Jakob, Volunteer Coach

To learn more about the Strong Start’s Letters, Sounds and Words program and register for training, please click here.


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