Starting Early Helps

The Abbotsford School Board’s support of early learning initiatives around the district is having positive results. In a presentation Assistant Superintendent Mary-Anne Smirle and District Principal for Early Learning Cindy Romanowski re-affirmed two key goals in the early learning mandate: increasing the access to high quality early literacy programs especially for young children vulnerable for school failure, and supporting and enhancing quality pre-school/early learning programs.

One of the measures has been the introduction of 13 StrongStart centres over the past five years. Following a cohort of 400 StrongStart students, indicators show that the early learning support can be linked to later literacy results, with the students from the StrongStart cohort doing better than the district average in terms of meeting or exceeding reading expectations, and that rate of success increasing through grade three.

Another initiative has been parental and community engagement, with ‘Ready Set Learn’ sessions for preschoolers in all elementary schools, and a community-wide Child Development Expo set for November 26.

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