Calgary: (403) 453-0066
Red Deer: (403) 347-3050
Literacy and Language
Helping children reach their Potential!


Despite everything we can tell you about ourselves, it is sometimes better to let some of the people who have used the Sound Connections program tell you what benefits they gained from the system. Below is some feedback we have received from previous users, which we hope you will find to be helpful:

son Jethro age 5
I am excited to tell you about a beautiful part of our life, The Sound Connections Program, it’s creators Annette & Richard Rogers in B.C., the first centre in Alberta and it’s manager Lisa Hansen. They opened the Calgary, Marda loop centre about 18 mounths ago and I discovered them shortly thereafter.

My beautiful bundle of boy, Jethro , was born with Down syndrome. But despite this, from birth on he has always been very bright, alert & observant. We have a very close bond, so rather than leave his learning & development to therapists and others I have been working to stimulate, support and teach him since birth.

I would read to him while he breast fed and after I started using sign language (ASL) with him when he was 9 months old and did it alone for a year until he first signed back! Before he walked (the day before he turned 3) he commando crawled, crab walked, scooted, cruised and four point crawled!

When he started to babble I began teaching him the alphabet...But it soon dawned on me that he was beginning with sounds…all kids begin with sounds… so why teach the names of the letters?? Why not start with the level he is at and teach him the sounds of the letters?!!

Somewhere along the way I also decided not to limit him and began to teach the name of the letter and the sound. I often felt little or no support for what I was doing, teaching Jethro myself and doing things differently than the experts (that I met with) recommended. Finding Sound Connections was a turning point on what had been a bit of an uphill, lonely road!

The program is based on the sounds of the letters and word…the approach is play based, multi-sensory, fun & flexible! Lisa (our instructor from the beginning) is so awesome at allowing our activities to be “child led”, going with the flow according to Jethro’s mood and interests…often making up a game on the spot to blend our lesson with his need to play ball or drive cars! And it is NOT designed to cut me out!!! Rather they honour parents as the first and best teachers our child has, by teaching us so we can take the program home!

A few weeks ago we met with a speech language pathologist we had started to see recently. This was only our second visit with her in a couple of months. As the session began she praised Jethro for his clear speech. She praised him for his pronunciation of words. She praised his knowledge of colours and animals. His participation and his clear speech!

At the end of the session she said it was very obvious that I have done and do a lot to work with Jethro ! And rather in an undertone she said that we are one of the few families that don’t really need her! I thanked her for that and of course told her that we also go to the Sound Connections Centre and was delighted to hear that she knew of it and had good things to say about it!

Glenn Dobie
Director of Student Learning
School District No. 5 (Southeast Kootenay)

The implementation of the Sound Connections Program in all School District No.5(Southeast Kootenay) elementary schools has been a resounding success. The Early Opportunities Program for Kindergarten has been well received by our
Kindergarten and Student Services personnel. The program significantly
improved our student's phonological awareness skill development. The Grade
One Early Intervention Program has successfully addressed the few students
who required continued individual support.
School District No. 5 (Southeast Kootenay) is proud to be a partnered with the
Sound Connections Program.

Mary Parks
A primary teacher for over 28 years

We have used Sound Connections in our school over the past 4 years.
Giving the children a hook to remember the sounds is real powerful
I will often see a child writing and making the gesture to remember the
sound they need. Where I have noticed a striking difference is when
I get a student from another school that has not had Sound Connections.
This year I received a child in grade two, who when it was journal time, told
me he couldn't write and would cry almost every time he had to write
anything. With much assistance, all he could produce would be one
sentence, after using sound connections since the fall, he can now write a
page or more in his journal with little if any assistance. I would highly
recommend Sound Connections as it uses a multi-sensory approach to
learning the sounds and really helps children to learn to read and write.
The children also love the games that help them practice using the sounds in
reading the words.

Parent of a Grade 2 student
I would highly recommend the Sound Connections Program to any parent whose child requires support with reading! Sound Connections uses a multi sensory approach in teaching children how to read. My son has been in the program for the past two years and in that time, he has made steady progress in his reading abilities.

Kayla Smaldon
Cranbrook, S.C.
I was introduced to the Sound Connections Program six years ago while
teaching kindergarten. My class was composed of children who had been read to
daily to those who had come from language deprived environments (poor language development, limited book exposure, could not recognize their printed name, had never held a crayon) and others who had learning disabilities. I quickly discovered that the Sound Connections Program met the needs of every child, using a high component of active participation that stimulated learning. Oral, visual and kinaesthetic learners were involved in various fun activities that were creative and exciting! Each activity had clear directions and could easily be used throughout the day. There were plenty of resources for each lesson that helped struggling, average and excelling students. The lessons taught listening skills, syllables, compound words, and rhyming words. By the end of the year every student had complete sound and sight mastery of each letter. They were filled with confidence and well on their way to reading. After four years of success at the kindergarten level I was switched to a grade 2/3 split classroom and so I used the Advanced Sound Connections Program which proved to be excellent.
With 26 years of elementary classroom experience and Special Needs specialization I would highly recommend the Sound Connections Program for all students.

Rick & Tammy Hawes
Our 12 year old son was having trouble with reading and we decided to put him in a reading progam with Lisa Whitlock called Sound Connections. Since he has started this progam his reading has improved and his confidence has come back and he looks forward to reading time instead of getting worked up and stressed at the thought of reading a book.
Having him in the program has also taking some pressure off myself as the parent and giving me some much needed help and tools to work with teaching my son now 10 learn to read. He looks forward to the weekly lessons with Lisa and works hard at home to get the work done.
Thanks for the help.

Lisa Whitlock
Early Childhood Educator, Educational Assistant
Cranbrook, B.C.

I enjoy teaching the Sound Connections Program and I have witnessed measurable success with my students. I began tutoring the Sound Connections Program nearly 4years ago. As part of my job I also deliver the program in several elementary schools in our district. For example one grade 7 student that I tutored was tested and found to be low in phonological awareness as well as reading and spelling for her grade level her school performance in language and literature was at a grade 5 level. I began with the Early Intervention Program and even though the props and lesson content could be viewed as having a young component she enjoyed the quick review of all the letters and sounds. With 4 months of 2 - l hour sessions a week, we covered the Early Intervention Program, the Generalization Writing Program and the Advanced Program as well as an intense at home reading incentive program. Subsequently she left with successfully increasing her level by 2 grades by the end of 4 months.
I find the program is easy to follow, listing everything required to carry out the lesson as well as a step-by-step plan. My students are enthusiastic to utilize the playful and engaging props and are eager to play the many fun learning games. By using incentives, motivators and goal tracking alongside the student's individual plans, I am able to empower students to become successful and
independent learners.

Amy, daughter 3 yrs.
Red Deer

Sound Connections has been an extremely rewarding experience. My daughter's literacy and speech growth and development have been fascinating. And while her learning and awareness around letters, sounds and speech has been incredible, it has been most wonderful seeing all this happen in a fun and interactive way. We will definitely be returning with both our children in future programs.

LeeAnn, twins 4yrs
Red Deer

Both of my boys have improved greatly while at the Centre. They are more confident in their language and literacy skills, more focussed and and have expressed excitement when learning something new. I wouldn’t have dreamed that our boys would be reading by the end of the program.

Loriann, Son 11yrs.
Red Deer

This Program was a perfect fit for my child. He is very active and so he seemed to learn better. He found it so fun and his marks went from 60's to 90's in language. What a great experience.

Jennifer, Son 6 yrs.
Red Deer

These programs are amazing. I could not imagine my child without the programs. He went from not knowing some letters at the end of kindergarten to Sound Connections. And at the end of grade 1, he is reading at a grade 2-3 level. I am recommending Sound Connections to everyone.

Holly, Son 4 yrs
Red Deer

I loved the program! I or my family were always welcome in the classroom and we learned different ways to help my son. I will definitely be recommending it to everyone. My son loves reading books now (or well me reading to him) and loves playing word games.

Cecelia, Son 4yrs
Red Deer

My son loved coming to Sound Connections. I sat in every session and watching helped me continue with the techniques at home. I am very happy with the program and would come back again to keep moving on in the level.

LeeAnn, boys 4yrs
Red Deer

We are so happy with the program. Each of my boys is so different and when extra encouragement was needed, the instructors knew how to focus them. We always felt very welcome by everyone and could sit in on the sessions. It helped us review with them what we learned. The boys felt very comfortable at sound Connections and that helped increase their confidence. They are both using their skills when we are reading at home. They are also more focussed when involved with an activity. The games, visual aids and resources helped our boys deal with their extra energy and reinforced the learning. We have recommended the Sound Connections Centre to others already!

Amanda, Son 5yrs
Red Deer

My son loved coming to the Sound Connections Centre. You guys are so fantastic with everybody. The program you set up really helped him. I wouldn’t change a thing.


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