The Learning Partnership recognizes school and community leaders


The Learning Partnership recognizes school and community leaders for their commitment to early learning.  Welcome to Kindergarten Awards for parenterhip Excellence presented.

TORONTO, Ont.–– Four agencies and one individual received Welcome to Kindergarten Awards for Partnership Excellence from The Learning Partnership today.

The Learning Partnership launched the awards this year to recognize individuals, agencies and/or school teams who have demonstrated excellence in community/school collaboration, providing support to children and their parents and being advocates for the Welcome to Kindergarten™™ program and early learning.

Winners were selected by a National Selection Committee and receive $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.

“"A child’’s early years lay the foundation for their future academic success,”" says Veronica Lacey, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “"Early education instills a love of learning and essential social skills. It2’’s important to recognize people and agencies that play a significant role in getting our young children excited about and ready for school.”"

This year’’s Partnership Excellence Awards recipients are:

Cornwall and Area Welcome to Kindergarten/FACES Steering Committee, Cornwall, Ontario. Over the past two years, the Committee has, with its partners, steadily extended the Welcome to Kindergarten program through two school boards, as well as increasing the number of sessions available to parents.

Deidre Sagert, St. James-Assiniboia School District, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Deidre, an early learning support teacher, not only served as an effective advocate for the Welcome to Kindergarten program in her school division, but further enriched the program by developing additional resources, including the Literacy Links program.

Durham District School Board Welcome to Kindergarten/Early Years Team, Whitby, Ontario. The DDSB team, together with community partners, advocated for the adoption of the Welcome to Kindergarten program in all schools in the area and increased the number of Welcome to Kindergarten sessions available for parents.

Elm Street Elementary School, Summerside, PEI. All teachers in the school volunteered to participate when the Welcome to Kindergarten program was introduced. They held additional after-school sessions and went to great lengths to make young children and their families feel welcomed and part of the school.

NOTE:  The award presentation for the Partnership Award will be January 9, 2013 at 10:40 a.m. at Elm Street School.

West Leeds Transition to Kindergarten Project – Schools and Agencies in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Ontario. This project involved two school boards, three schools and seven community partners that together supported young children with special needs transition into kindergarten. Their mandate is to promote truly meaningful inclusion for all children entering the school system through strong parent engagement practices.

The Learning Partnership also recognized the following agencies with Honourable Mentions:

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth –– Calgary, Alberta . The In-School Settlement Program worked with the Welcome to Kindergarten program to provide specialized support to new Canadians.

The Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC. The Library has been actively engaged with the Welcome to Kindergarten program for over six years and has worked closely with the Vancouver School Board to develop a strong partnership capitalizing on each organization’’s area of expertise.


About Welcome to Kindergarten

Welcome to Kindergarten™™ is designed to help prepare preschoolers for a positive start to their school journey. Parents and their children attend spring and fall Welcome to Kindergarten orientation sessions at their neighbourhood schools, where they receive early learning and literacy resources and learn how to use them at home. Since 2004, more than 450,000 children and families have taken part in Welcome to Kindergarten orientations.

About The Learning Partnership

The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization dedicated to championing a strong public education system in Canada through innovative programs, credible research, policy initiatives, leadership training and public engagement. Since 1993, more than 4.9 million students and teachers have participated in one or more of The Learning Partnership’’s programs, including Take Our Kids to Work™™, Welcome to Kindergarten™™, Change Your Future and Entrepreneurial Adventure. For information on The Learning Partnership, log onto


For more information, contact:

Moira Potter, Communications Officer
Tel: 416-440-5124