McGuinty Government Supports Early Learning And Parent Engagement

    86 Parenting And Family Literacy Centres Receive Support From Province

    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - 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
    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
    "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,, 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

    Disponible en français




    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 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

    -   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
    -   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


For further information:

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

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