Helps Young Children Reach Their Full Potential, Today and Into the Future
Vancouver, January 12, 2022 – Today, the Learning Disabilities Society (LDS) announced their new, ground-breaking Early RISErs early education and intervention program for children ages 3-5. This empowering program provides vital support for children at a critical time in their development to ensure early learning challenges do not lead to perpetuating disadvantages.
Early RISErs removes barriers, especially for families that do not have the means, and do not know where to turn to, to access help. These families can face extreme obstacles, including having their children banned or shunned from pre-school and junior kindergarten. However, with the right solutions, these children not only get the support they need and deserve, but they can overcome their challenges and enter the school system on par with their peers.
“LDS is thrilled to expand our learning supports to children as young as three. Early education and intervention services are critical in helping young children succeed today and into the future—not just in school, but in developing skills that will help them in behavioural regulation, relationship building, problem solving and communication,” says Rachel Forbes, Executive Director, LDS. “The earlier the intervention is, the more effective it can be in improving outcomes for the learner, their family and their community.”
Through music, movement, art, specially designed learning stations, and innovative, socially assisted robot technology—which LDS developed together with leading experts in Canada and around the globe—the 10-week program provides in-person, individualized hands-on learning opportunities tailored to each child’s needs. Early RISErs communicate and play, while learning and growing in key areas of development including literacy, numeracy, speech, social and emotional learning and physical literacy.
“What makes Early RISErs truly unique, and an exceptional learning experience, is that we’ve brought together a group of experts including speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioural interventionists, kindergarten teachers, and early childhood educators to give families a comprehensive assessment of where their child is at. Together with dynamic programming and innovative robots designed specifically for children ages 3-5, we can significantly enhance children’s engagement and their learning,” says Dr. Jennifer Fane, Director of Education, LDS.
“My favourite part of Early RISErs is seeing all the happy smiles and the looks of pride, and knowing we have created space for every child to feel proud of themselves and feel like they’ve achieved something special,” says Forbes. “The program gives children an opportunity to build confidence and aptitude in a huge range of skills. This gives young children the right tools and resources from the get-go, setting the stage for future success at school and in life.”
The program is designed to be inclusive, responsive to family needs and accessible to families. Parents or guardians are engaged throughout the process through workshops, meetings and reporting and are provided with a detailed assessment report providing a holistic view of their child’s strengths and stretches. LDS empowers families by helping them learn about what supports are available and understanding how to best support and advocate for their child going into kindergarten and beyond.
“Participating in Early RISErs has been incredibly meaningful and impactful for my son, and our family,” said Jaye, whose 3-year old may be experiencing some developmental delays and joined the first Early RISErs session held in autumn 2021. “The program is just what we feel our son needed; a close look at his skills and development from different professionals. We have learned so much about his development, interests, skills and personality. Our hope is that this program can reach many, many more families like us as it grows over the years.”
Early RISERs is an expansion of LDS’s existing RISE (Research-informed Individualized Student Education) programs, including RISE at Home, available online to children and youth across B.C., and RISE One-to-One in-person instruction.
In keeping with its mandate of ensuring that high-quality learning support is available to all learners, regardless of circumstance, LDS offers bursaries to families in need, to make Early RISErs and other LDS programs accessible to all.
For more information about Early RISErs, visit https://ldsociety.ca/early-risers/.
As a nonprofit, Vancouver-based charity, LDS relies on donations and community support in order to sustain its programming and provide bursaries to families in financial need. Those interested in making a financial contribution to help vulnerable students with learning and related disabilities are encouraged to visit LDS’s Giving page: https://ldsociety.ca/giving/ .
About Learning Disabilities Society (LDS):
Founded in 1970, LDS is a nonprofit charity that serves children with suspected or diagnosed learning disabilities by providing customized learning support. LDS’s Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) program enables students to understand their unique strengths and find success in the classroom and beyond. LDS is committed to making high-quality, affordable learning support accessible to all families, regardless of circumstance. Visit https://ldsociety.ca/.
Rachel S. Forbes
Executive Director, LDS