We all want to live in a community where children, youth, and families have strong literacy skills and are able to fully participate and thrive throughout their lives. 


About Making Literacy a Way of Life

In London, statistics around literacy in the community are troubling. Over 1 in 4 children are not ready to learn in Grade 1, significant numbers of children are below the provincial average in reading, writing, and math, and over 1 in 5 students are not graduating from secondary school. This paints a challenging picture for our community and too many children are being left behind.

To tackle this vast and complex issue, the CYN's Literacy priority is committed to effective interventions for literacy and learning. It is through the implementation of a community-developed and led action plan that community partners work to meet the Literacy priority goal of making sure children, youth, and families develop strong literacy skills and competencies needed to fully participate, engage, and thrive throughout their lives.

Literacy priority partners have a solid foundation for working together in a collaborative and common way. Through a well-established approach, strong relationships across the community, and a commitment to effective interventions for literacy and learning, the Literacy priority has an edge for collectively pursuing interventions that are bold and courageous.


To address these issues, the Literacy priority takes a lifecycle approach by implementing activities that impact literacy acquisition throughout a child's life, beginning the moment a baby is born and continuing with developmentally appropriate interventions throughout a child's elementary and secondary school years.

A key facet of this approach involves increasing awareness and promotion of literacy for parents, caregivers and other key influencers of children about the importance of literacy at every stage, the ease with which it can be integrated into day-to-day life, and the fun and positive impact literacy has on family life. Improving relationships and connections between community, schools and at home positively impacts literacy skills competencies for children, youth, and families. Our community refers to this approach as "the triangle." 


  • More children enter the school system with a strong foundation for success.
  • More children and youth continue to develop literacy skills and competencies throughout their school years.
  • More students will graduate from secondary school (or the equivalent).
  • More community members will engage in activities which improve all forms of literacy.


Baby's Book Bag

Baby's Book Bag is a collection of early literacy resources, including quality board books, locally created songs and rhymes and information about community resources for new and expecting parents with their first newborn.  Families wishing to get their own Baby's Book Bag can visit any branch of the London Public Library or Family Centre in London.  

Literacy...right from the start! Video- This locally created video featuring Dr. Jean Clinton supports the London community's efforts to reach more families across the city with information about reading, singing, playing, loving, and talking with babies as soon as they are born. It also provides valuable information about other resources for families in our city, including programs and services at Family Centre locations and any branch of the London Public Library. In addition to English, the video is available in French, Arabic and Spanish. All versions can be found here

Sharing Baby's Book Bag - It is so easy to be qualified to promote Baby's Book Bag to the expecting and new parents community partners support. This webinar takes less than 15 minutes and can be accessed by anyone at any time. The training provides a perfect refresher for those who have been involved for years and is a great tool for onboarding new staff, placement students, volunteers or others to Baby's Book Bag.

Baluchon de lecture pour bebe- Francophone and Francophile families who prefer to access the French version of this resource can get one at la ribambelle.

Baby's Book Bag is a partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Forest City-London.

 To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here

Healthcare Provider Engagement

Healthy Words Pilot - Healthcare Providers leading this pilot intervention share a package of carefully chosen literacy resources with parents at their baby's 15 month well-baby checkup. The Healthy Words kit includes a quality board book and age appropriate tips for engaging in literacy with toddlers.

 Healthy Words Program Logo

Your Prescription for Literacy - This initiative is for healthcare providers wishing to share Baby's Book Bag with patients who are expecting their first child or patients who have just had their first baby. Healthcare providers have a sample Baby's Book Bag they show to patients before giving them a coupon or "prescription" to access a bag of their own at any Family Centre in London or branch of the London Public Library

 To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here

Literacy-Focused Wraparound Project 

Building upon the successes of the CYN's Grade 7 & 8 Wraparound Demonstration Project, this neighbourhood-based pilot intervention will engage and support young people in the later elementary school years to be successful as they transition to secondary school. With this pilot, emphasis will be placed on proven interventions and activities that promote literacy acquisition leading to successful secondary school outcomes.

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here.

Youth Project Design (YPD)

To create solutions for young people, it is imperative to engage and work with them right from the start. Youth Project Design (YPD) is a co-created intervention utilizing the principles of the CYN Youth Framework to engage young people in the design and development of initiatives that support young people with the acquisition of leadership skills and with successful secondary school graduation (or the equivalent).

This initiative is implemented in collaboration with the Ending Poverty priority and includes the following:

  • Supporting at-risk youth.
  • Supporting School Aged Newcomers.
  • Community Workshops and Training

Community-wide, coordinated model to increase secondary school graduation rates

In collaboration with the Ending Poverty priority, this initiative seeks to initiate a proven model, such as Pathways to EducationTM, which provides integrated wraparound supports to young people in London to develop the skills and supports to successfully graduate from secondary school. The locally created model will provide young people with the opportunity to graduate from high school and continue on to post-secondary school or employment by providing academic, financial, social, and individual supports throughout their high school years.

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here.

Community-wide Literacy Education Campaign

Since 2014, the community’s literacy awareness and education campaign, 2000 Words to Grow / It all Starts with Words, has increased awareness and initiated behaviour change related to literacy across the city. Directed at parents and other key influencers of young children, the campaign invites the audience to look into the impact that increased literacy skills could have on their child’s future. Today, the literacy education campaign lives in the community via partners, educators, healthcare providers, and others who share the tools and key messages with the families they work with every day. 

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here

Build Literacy-Rich Environments and Integrate Literacy into Community Spaces Across the City

This initiative increases access to literacy and learning for all families by integrating activities and tools into built environments across the community. A key facet of this work is all organizations looking within their own practices to integrate and maintain rich literacy experiences for families accessing their spaces and places. Activities within this initiative include creating literacy-rich spaces for families in waiting rooms and community centres.

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here

Make it Easier for Families to Access Literacy Services, Programs, and Supports

This initiative creates a coordinated approach to sharing our community’s inventory of literacy programs, services and activities for families across the city. By doing so, families have increased access to the wealth of activities, events, playgroups, homework supports and online resources that engage children and youth in evidence-based, literacy-rich services that support learning and development. 

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here.

Continuous Learning / Education, Knowledge Mobilization, and Supports for Community Partners and Professionals 

Activities within this intervention are learner-centred with current and up-to-date information about literacy acquisition and success so that practitioners continue to model and share the best information with parents and children. Activities within this intervention include the CYN’s annual Family Literacy Conference for Professionals and training/capacity building that supports inter-priority connections and opportunities.

To access tools and resources for this initiative, click here

Participation and Alignment with Existing Networks and Partnerships to Increase Collective Effectiveness

Several other networks, partnerships, and initiatives in London have interests and activities that influence Literacy priority outcomes. Strive, the London-Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership, the Community Early Years Partnership, the London for All Implementation Body, and the London and Middlesex Child & Youth Mental Health Strategy are just a few of the networks, partnerships and initiatives in the city whose activities can access Literacy outcomes. This initiative aims to increase alignment between all of these groups and supports collective efforts towards common outcomes by participating, connecting, and collaborating with these networks and bodies.

Literacy Priority Partners Meetings 

Tentative: September 20, 2022
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
To be determined 

Tentative: November 15, 2022
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
To be determined