McGuinty Government Supports Early Learning And Parent Engagement

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Supports Early Learning And Parent Engagement

Ministry of Education

86 Parenting And Family Literacy Centres Receive Support From Province TORONTO, June 25 - The McGuinty government is helping children in culturally diverse and high-needs neighbourhoods gain the language and numbers skills they need to succeed in school, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today. "Parents are the first and most important teacher in a child's life," said Wynne. "Parenting and Family Literacy centres will offer support to more parents and help give more children a good start on a successful future." The province is investing $6 million in 86 centres across Ontario - 54 existing centres in Toronto and 32 new centres throughout the province. Located in culturally diverse and high-needs neighbourhoods, the centres focus on building children's literacy and numeracy skills through stories, music, reading and playing. Staff also engage parents in their children's learning and can link families with appropriate community resources for special needs, health and other related services "I am thrilled that the Parenting and Family Literacy Centres are receiving this support," said Mary Gordon, founder of the TDSB Parenting and Family Literacy Centres. "Not only do the centres provide exceptional learning and social environments for the children, but they also invite parents into our schools and encourage them to engage with their children and with other parents." By encouraging learning and the development of language and social skills, the centres help prepare young children for school and ease the transition to kindergarten. Located in elementary schools, the centres also help children and parents become more comfortable with the school system by helping them to become more familiar with the school and school routines. A list of the 32 new centres, to be open by mid-September 2007, is available below. "The Parenting and Family Literacy Centres are a very effective way of preparing children for success in school," said Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers. "Parents and grandparents also enjoy being provided with the opportunity to learn from each other as they help with the development of their children." Supporting and expanding the Parenting and Family Literacy Centres is another example of how working together, the Ontario government is helping the province's young students develop a good foundation in learning. Other examples include: - Smaller class sizes in kindergarten to Grade 3 - nearly all classrooms now have 23 or fewer students compared to 64 per cent three years ago - Providing funding for about 1,900 new elementary specialist teachers in areas such as music, phys-ed and the arts - Launching a new website, www.ontario.ca/abc123, that gives parents practical tips they can use to help children develop reading, writing and math skills. "We continue to work closely with the Children and Youth Services Minister Chambers to ensure that all children arrive at school ready and eager to learn," said Wynne. "These centres offer children and their families a warm welcome to our publicly funded education system, and a great head start on learning." Disponible en français www.edu.gov.on.ca www.ontario.ca/progress Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- PARENTING AND FAMILY LITERACY CENTRES Contact Info The McGuinty government is investing more than $6 million to support 86 Parenting and Family Literacy Centres around the province. The centres focus on building children's literacy and numeracy skills, and engaging parents in their children's learning. For example, the centres offer a book-lending library in languages that are appropriate to the community, enabling parents to read to children in their first language. Located in schools, the centres are free of charge and families do not have to pre-register to attend. Parent workers who staff the centres work closely with kindergarten teachers to provide a quality learning environment that prepares young children for school. Through stories, music, reading and playing, children in the centres learn throughout the day. The centre staff are also familiar with local community resources and can link families with appropriate resources for special needs, health and other related services. The funding will support the 54 existing centres in the Toronto District School Board and expand the program to create 32 new centres around Ontario. The locations of the 54 Toronto sites can be found at www.tdsb.on.ca and click on parents, and then parenting and family literacy programs. The 32 new centres will be open and operating by mid-September 2007 and will be located in: - Severn Avenue Public School in Ottawa - Charles H. Hulse Public School in Ottawa - Cambridge Street Community Public School in Ottawa - Hilson Avenue Public School in Ottawa - George Webster Elementary School in Toronto - John A. Leslie Public School in Toronto - Charles E. Webster Junior Public School in Toronto - Warden Avenue Junior Public School in Toronto - St. Wilfrid in Toronto - St. Charles Garnier Separate School in Toronto - St. Francis de Sales School in Toronto - St. Barnabas School in Toronto - St. Barbara Separate School in Toronto - Blessed John XXIII in Toronto - Our Lady of the Assumption Separate School in Toronto - St. Dorothy Catholic School in Toronto - St. Lawrence's Separate School in Hamilton - Our Lady of Lourdes Separate School in Hamilton - Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Hamilton - St. Margaret Mary Separate School in Hamilton - Bennetto Elementary School in Hamilton - Lake Avenue Public School in Stoney Creek - Memorial Public School in Stoney Creek - Stinson Street Junior Public School in Hamilton - Ecole élémentaire Académie de la Tamise in London - Ecole élémentaire catholique Sainte-Catherine in Pain Court near Chatham-Kent - Ecole élémentaire catholique Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin in Sarnia - Ecole L'Envolée in Windsor - Frank W. Begley Public School in Windsor - Coronation Public School in Windsor - Marlborough Public School in Windsor - Queen Elizabeth Public School in Leamington Disponible en français www.edu.gov.on.ca www.ontario.ca/progress For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892