Family Literacy

Project READ is supportive of parents who wish to improve their knowledge and skills to foster emerging literacy in their children.

Our Definitions

PRLN defines “family literacy” as: Parents actively helping themselves and their children to become lifelong learners through a wide variety of daily activities.

PRLN defines “family literacy programming” as: Programs that focus on building the already-present strengths within families by working with the parents to aid in their child’s literacy skills and their own literacy skills.  By using supports from adult literacy, early childhood education, and family support, our programs help parents to support their children as they develop literacy and math skills that will provide a foundation for the child’s future success. The programs proactively provide emotionally-centred and relationship-based strategies in which parents learn to support and mentor their children in daily activities in order to create lifelong learners.

We support parents to gain skills and capabilities to foster their children’s learning through interactive family literacy activities and age-based learning sessions. We believe that families can change their futures when they are supported to learn new skills together. Based on child development research at University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, York and Harvard Universities, our family literacy programs provide a foundation for families with literacy and/or language challenges who live in poverty and low incomes. Our intergenerational programs involve all ages in learning together, as participants in creating their own success.

Visit our family literacy website:

Get Set Learn (GSL) – We offer an 8-week program (2 classes/week x 2 hours/class) to parents and children living on welfare. The program’s mission statement: Get Set Learn is a proactive family literacy program that provides a foundation for families with literacy challenges to experience successful lifelong learning.

Get Set Learn is offered each spring and fall at locations across Waterloo Region. It is open to parents receiving OW or ODSP. For more information or to register contact Joanne, Coordinator, at 519-570-3054 or

GSL helps parents to re-enter education and to foster early learning in their children. This innovative and highly successful program is funded by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Social Services. Community partners include Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre, Stanley Park Community Centre, Mill-Courtland Community Centre and Cambridge Self Help Food Bank.

Please click here to see a video about our Get Set Learn family literacy program as reported by Leslie Gordon of CTV Southwestern Ontario.

Get Set Learn Afterschool (GSLA) – Project READ also offers Get Set Learn Afterschool, (GSLA) our newest family literacy program for families struggling with literacy and language. A dynamic afterschool program for families to learn and grow together in an elementary school setting based on the success of Get Set Learn. Field-tested across Canada, this intergenerational approach to life long learning helps support emerging literacy and math skills in children while developing a parent’s own skills in a safe, supportive environment. The founding partners of GSLA include: Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre, Kitchener Public Library, Stanley Park Community Centre and Howard Robertson Public School. This program is dependent upon community partnerships and donations. We are currently seeking donations and sponsorships to deliver this program at local elementary schools. Please contact us directly or donate online through the “CanadaHelps” button. Thank you!

View a parent testimonial about Get Set Learn Afterschool –

Certified Training – We offer family literacy program training to literacy educators and community workers. Contact Joanne, our Family Literacy Coordinator, at 519-570-3054 or for more information.

What do families gain from participating in our family literacy programs? In an independent evaluation, it revealed that parents and children had:

  • Increased knowledge and skills regarding how to foster emergent literacy and home literacy activities
  • Increased reading, writing and math activities at home
  • Increased confidence and more positive attitudes towards learning and school
  • Increased awareness of their own Essential Skills and how they are used at work, home and in the community

Family Literacy Booklets – We provide our “Let’s Play Literacy” booklet to parents and others who are looking for literacy tips. The 16-page booklet contains information to make literacy play fun and interactive for babies to preschoolers. It includes the following topics: 3 key literacy messages, helping your child when you are not a good reader, reading with your child, choosing books for different ages, getting ready for literacy, talking to the school, and activities for babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers. To order copies, please contact us –

How can you help a young child get ready for reading and writing?
Find out how playing with your child can improve their literacy skills!
Click to find out how to make learing fun!
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Your child learns from your example.