Here at the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation, we believe that giving our children a solid foundation for a literate mind is a tremendous gift.
At CCLF, our initial focus is on building early literacy skills from birth to age five. We believe that this is where we can have the greatest impact. From conception to age five, the brain develops more –and more rapidly – than at any other point in a child’s life. Inadequate support for brain development in the early years is often difficult to address later.
We recognize that every child is unique. Not all children learn at the same rate, and not all reach the same milestones through the same pathways. There are many wonderful organizations and people working to support children and families across the country, through literacy resources, screening and early intervention, early childhood education, and so much more.
Recognizing that there are many avenues for addressing children’s literacy challenges in those early years, an important way to start is to read, speak, and sing to babies from the beginning of their lives. We know that exposure to language from birth leverages a baby’s neuroplasticity to create the brain architecture that supports early literacy development.
Simply by surrounding a child with words, we can begin to lay a foundation that gives many of our children the chance to achieve their full potential in life. This is an important part of the work we do here at CCLF but we know it is only one piece of the puzzle. We are also committed to driving informed dialogue about children's literacy in Canada, as well as bringing together the many organizations that are working together to support literacy for all children. We believe that, together, we can build a brighter, more literate future for all children in Canada.
Words build a child’s world. Let’s make it big!
All my best,
Ariel R. Siller
Ariel Siller’s Bio
Ariel Siller is CEO of the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation. A passionate advocate for children’s literacy, Ariel joined CCLF in July 2019 from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation where she was Executive Director. In that role, she championed literacy by helping high-needs elementary schools build their libraries through grants for books.
Previously, Ariel pursued her passion for social justice through her legal practice. She graduated from Stanford Law School with both academic and pro bono distinctions. Throughout her legal career, most recently at Torys LLP in Toronto, Ariel maintained an active pro bono practice that involved partnering with and advocating for marginalized communities.
Ariel’s deep personal belief in the importance of literacy extends to her quest to support her two children as they build their literacy skills, embracing family favourites such as Scaredy Squirrel, everything by Mo Willems and the Harry Potter series.