$600,000 OTF Grant Helps Students with Learning Differences

An investment announced today will provide greater access to resources and supports across the north for families and educators of students who face challenges with learning. This morning, Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault offered his congratulations to those involved with the Northern Ontario Centre for Learning Differences (NOCLD) on receiving a three-year, $600,000 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).  Along with Niilo Saari, a volunteer with OTF, MPP Thibeault met with representatives to hear how this newly established organization will increase the reach of existing programs and services being provided locally by the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury (LDAS).


The three-year Grow grant is part of OTF’s new Investment Strategy and will enable the NOCLD to expand the LDAS mandate to other communities in Northeastern Ontario. Funds from the grant are being used to hire an Executive Director, Resource Facilitators, and will also help with the costs associated with hosting workshops, in addition to administrative costs.


“This is terrific news for Sudbury and Northern Ontario.  After meeting with representatives, I was impressed with their innovative approach and realized how this learning centre will expand services for the LDAS.  It’s programs such as this one that the Ontario Trillium Foundation is proud to support,” said Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury.


“We are very excited about today’s announcement and thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their investment in our centre,” said Mary-Liz Warwick, Interim Executive Director of the NOCLD.  “According to a report from the Ministry of Education there are close to 8,000 students, in the English-language school boards across Northeastern Ontario, who have been identified with an exceptionality such as a learning disability.  This funding will allow our organization to reach more of those students and make a greater impact across the north.”


“This really is an important milestone in supporting children and youth with learning differences across northern Ontario,” stated Ron Lessard, Executive Director of the LDAS.  “This funding will enable us to share and replicate our one-on-one and group supports to reach parents directly and build their capacity to improve their children’s emotional and social skills. Families across northeastern Ontario will benefit knowing they are not alone.”


“Our organization offers resource and advocacy support to parents and students, hosts workshops and runs a coaching program for students in grades 7 and 8, just to name a few,” said Liz Brett-Dickie, Chair of the LDAS Board. “It’s very exciting to know that with the help of the NOCLD, more people will have access to these important support programs.”


The head office of the NOLCD will be housed out of Huntington University in Greater Sudbury, with satellite offices being established in North Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie in the coming months.

“Huntington University is proud to partner with the NOLCD.  Every student has the right to an education and the right to learn in a way that best suits their learning style,” said Dr. Kevin McCormick, President and Vice-Chancellor of Huntington University and Chair of the NOCLD Board.  “We are proud to partner with this new organization, and look forward to the student success that will result from the work of the NOCLD.”


 A leading grantmaking foundation in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. 


For more information, please visit: www.otf.ca


To view photos from the event visit our Facebook page.

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