Harris government commits $100,000 to support kids

Archived Release

Harris government commits $100,000 to support kids

TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - Tina Molinari, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Children, announced today that $100,000 from the Harris government's Early Years Challenge Fund will go to the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario to support Ontario's children and families. The organization will use the grant to develop and launch the Learning to Learn Differently Project, a comprehensive set of training tools and resource packages for use by early childhood educators, teachers, literacy professionals, parents and children.
"I am here today to congratulate the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario for participating in this new initiative," said Molinari. "Their proposal for funding through the Early Years Challenge Fund is innovative and demonstrates a real desire to support children and families in those critical first six years."
Launched in December 2000, Ontario's Early Years Challenge Fund matches contributions made by businesses, and volunteer and charitable groups for new programs that will help parents give their children the best possible start in life. Through community partnerships, the Harris government funds new programs that are aimed at helping children during their first six years of life - the most important time to develop the skills needed to achieve their full potential through the rest of their lives.
"We are excited by this opportunity to help parents, children, teachers and other education professionals identify and support specific learning needs of young children," said Carol Yaworski, Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. "There is growing enthusiasm in support of early child development. The Early Years Challenge Fund is giving our organization the opportunity to partner and help parents and educators at a time of critical importance in our young children's learning."
The Learning to Learn Differently Project will help parents and teachers recognize and accommodate children's learning styles in Kindergarten. The project will run in 32 communities across Ontario. Approximately 34 elementary school boards, involving 114 schools, are expected to participate in this project.

For more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS or
http://www.childsec.gov.on.ca

Backgrounder
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EARLY YEARS CHALLENGE FUND GRANT
LEARNING DISABILITIES ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO

Early Years Challenge Fund

Ontario's Early Years Study, commissioned by Premier Mike Harris and co-authored by Dr. Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain, demonstrated the critical importance of investing in a child's early years. The study recommended that the government provide a fund to help communities create successful early years programs. The government embraced these findings and is implementing the Early Years Challenge Fund, a key commitment to provide early years programs for children and families across Ontario.
Through this fund, the government is challenging private sector, not-for-profit and other partners to develop collaborative and creative initiatives to support children and families. The main objective of the Early Years Challenge Fund is to build capacity in communities to develop local early years programs so that all families in Ontario can help their children reach their full potential. The government's contribution this year will grow by $15 million on top of the $15 million allocated last year.
This initiative brings together a wide range of groups to develop proposals. These groups are required to come forward with their own contributions, both financial and in-kind, to be matched by the government on a 50:50 basis.
The Harris government invited groups to put forward proposals for province-wide projects in January 2001. A request for community-specific projects will be made this spring.

Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario

The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario will work with community partners including the Hospital for Sick Children, Integra Foundation, Soeby's Ontario Ltd. and the Ontario Literacy Coalition to develop the Learning to Learn Differently Project. This project will help parents and teachers recognize and accommodate children's learning styles in Kindergarten.
Under the Early Years Challenge Fund grant, the project will be launched in 32 communities throughout Ontario, including rural and urban areas. Approximately 34 elementary school boards, involving 114 schools, are expected to participate.
The Harris government is proud to support this initiative as it continues to lead the nation in promoting and supporting all young children in their early years.

For more information on Ontario's Early Years Challenge Fund visit
http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS or http://www.childsec.gov.on.ca

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For further information: Bruce Weinert, Tina Molinari's office, (416) 325-5249; Dan Miles, Minister Baird's Office, (416) 325-5215