Where to find reading help for a child
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Free Publications: Shining Stars Series
- These free publications from EdPubs show how Parents can
help toddlers thru children in the 3rd grade level learn to read.
To order, download or view, visit
and enter "Shining Stars" in the search box near the top of
A Different Kind of Home
Schooling - The son of poor
laborers in rural Mexico, Ocario Gonzalez doesn't remember his
parents ever helping with his schoolwork. After struggling with his
studies for a few years, Gonzalez left school at 12. Now the
42-year-old South Los Angeles factory worker is trying to break that
cycle with his daughter, Carolina.
- Third Grade Literacy
ReadbyGrade3 Listserv - Outstanding discussions on reading and
Help, Kids Keep Reading After Age 8 - Some 92 percent of
children enjoy reading books for fun, but their reading time takes a
steep dive after age 8. The main cause: They can't find books they
like and parents aren't helping them with book selection as much as
they did when the kids were small.
A Page Turner For Parents Who Want Their Child To Read - Anyone
who has struggled to help a child learn to love books will find
"Deconstructing Penguins" full of new ideas.
Lansing Educators Take
Reading Tools on the Road - Door-to-door visits part of plan to
help struggling students. Lansing parents, be aware: If your child is
in kindergarten or first-, second- or third-grade, an educator may
come knocking on your door. Ingham County's largest school district
formally introduced a new door-to-door initiative last week called,
"On the Road for Reading." It requires several educators to spend a
half-day per week visiting homes of young struggling readers.
Partnership For Reading - The Partnership for Reading is
offering free literacy resources for educators, teacher educators,
administrators, policymakers, support agencies and families. Among the
resources now available are: a new booklet for parents to help their
children in grades K-3 become successful readers; a book geared to
parents of children from birth through preschool; and a guide to help
teachers become discerning consumers of education programs and
materials. All of these documents and more can be downloaded for free.
Helping Your Child Learn to Read - A Parent Guide
This brochure, designed for
parents, provides a quick overview of the findings of the National
Reading Panel and gives ideas for what to expect from a school's
reading program based on evidence from the research (preschool through
grade 3). The brochure also suggests ways parents can reinforce
reading instruction at home with everyday activities and interactions.
Download this document --
HTML (accessible format) or order this
document in print
A Child Becomes
Proven Ideas for Parents from Research--Kindergarten through Grade
The road to becoming a reader begins the day a child is born and
continues through the end of third grade. At that point, a child must
read with ease and understanding to take advantage of the learning
opportunities in fourth grade and beyond. This booklet offers advice
for parents of children from grades K-3 on how to support reading
development at home, and how to recognize effective instruction in
their children's classrooms.
Download the color PDF version;
black and white PDF version;
HTML (accessible format); or order this document
The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read
This 64-page booklet
provides teachers with a summary of the findings of the National
Reading Panel from its review of reading research. Organized by major
reading topic for kindergarten through grade 3 (phonemic awareness
instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency
instruction, and text comprehension instruction), the booklet lists
the main findings from the research, suggests how the findings can be
translated to practice, and answers some frequently asked questions
about each topic.
Download this document --
HTML (accessible format) or order this
document in print
Looking for a break from the doldrums of creating yet another
e-commerce website (that's just what the world needs), or email server
application (oooh, those are doubly exciting), Ron Hornbaker sought to
create a community site that would be the first of its kind, that
would give back to the world at large, and that would provide warm
fuzzy feelings whenever he worked on it. BookCrossing.com was the
result, a website that encourages everyone to “release” their favorite
books “into the wild” and then track the books’ travels worldwide.
Red Flag Screening - Give your child
an informal reading test to help evaluate his/her level of reading
accuracy. The test is based on materials from the State of Texas. "Our
screening is designed to provide parents with a tool that can help
confirm or negate their suspicions, through the use of objective &
widely accepted standards as applied to state approved grade level
material. The results of the screening can then be used as one more
piece of the puzzle in determining whether to seek further help or
Free Phonics Lessons Online
180 - A comprehensive literacy program producing impressive
reading gains for adolescents.
Books Designed for
Children with Disabilities
Learning: A new way to learn - The Fast ForWord family of products
develops the critical thinking, listening, and reading skills that are
necessary for success in the classroom, the workplace and in everyday
life. The Fast ForWord family of products use neuroscience principles
to create an optimal learning environment that enables you to:
Simultaneously develop multiple skill sets to maximize learning,
Identify reading and language difficulties, and Attack the underlying
causes of these difficulties.
Adolescent Literacy Web Topic is packed full of research-based
information on literacy and is now available on the National Center on
Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) Web site.
Where to find Reading & Literacy Help for Children
- click here.
Where to find
Reading & Literacy Help for Adults -
Help your child learn to read; includes free reading activities!
Reveals He Was Illiterate Until Age 48 - John Corcoran graduated from
college and taught high school for 17 years without being able to read, write or
Curriculum Helps Jolt
Reading Skills - A Hickman Mills High student earns national honors for
the improvements he has shown with Read 180. Kevin Bowen was a floater, one of
those students who drift into high school reading no better than a third-grader.
But now the 15-year-old Hickman Mills High School freshman is an all-star, one
of nine students in a nationwide spotlight for their dramatic reading gains. The
recognition came from publishing giant Scholastic Inc. It developed the Read 180
curriculum credited with turning Kevin into a ninth-grade reader within a matter
of months. Some local districts are spending upwards of half a million dollars
on the program--and that doesn't even include personnel costs. But
administrators swear by its results.
Parents Learn Alongside Kids in Literacy Program - Jose Perez is a
fidgety 5-year-old and his teacher changes activities often to accommodate his
attention span. Yesterday, his mother, Sylvia, was at his left elbow for 40
minutes, coaching him to put space between words, erasing mistakes, helping him
with vocabulary. Harborside Elementary School lured his mother onto campus by
enrolling her as a student at the kindergarten through sixth-grade school.
Before she became a Harborside pupil, Sylvia Perez did not set foot on campus.
The extent of her involvement was giving her children rides to and from school.
Dr. Mel Levine - All Kinds of Learning - In
this Children of the Code interview,
Dr. Levine discusses his work at All Kinds of Minds and engages in a wide
ranging dialogue about the many dimensions of learning. Of particular interest
to COTC readers, Dr. Levine discusses how the effects of reading difficulty can
ripple through learning in general.
Reading and Naughtiness 'Linked' - Research on 2,200 twins finds poor
behavior and reading in young boys - though not girls - are intertwined and
intervention can tackle either area. “To our surprise we found genetics did not
explain it. It's an environmental process, such as what goes on in the
classroom, and this is important because it can be changed." Programs that
target either reading problems or behavior problems during the pre-school and
early primary school years are likely to produce changes in both areas, the
Audio Books Can Be a Great Learning Tool - Parents,
want to get your kids to read more? Plug them into an audio book. For
years, educators have sung the praises of audio books for students
with reading challenges or those whose first language isn't English.
Tips on Picking Audio Books - Here are some tips for
choosing audio books for children, suggested by Shannon Maughan, audio
book expert at Publishers Weekly, and Sharon Grover, youth services
librarian in Arlington, Va.
The Personal and Social Implications of Literacy and Literacy Instruction -
Interview with Dr. Shanahan who is currently chair of the National Early
Literacy Panel. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized reading researcher
with extensive experience with children in Head Start, children with special
needs, and children in inner-city schools. During the course of over five hours
of conversations, spread across three interviews, we found Dr. Shanahan to be an
open minded and well rounded literacy expert whose driving passion is to serve
children and families. He is without doubt one of the least partisan and most
noble champions of children and literacy we have encountered.
Does Children’s Literature Have to Be Scary? - It is as though the
authors, the publishers, the teachers, and the professors of education share a
bizarre consensus that ordinary children need to be shaken out of their
complacency, stripped of their innocence, and frightened by the horrors that the
world has in store for them at any moment. What Feinberg nicely exposes is that
the entire field of children’s literature specialists has bought a flawed bill
of goods and has sold it to the nation’s teachers. They have persuaded
themselves that their job is not to promote excellent literature, but to promote
depressing problem novels. In doing so, they seem to be turning young people
away from literature in droves.
Older Reader - 8.7 million 4th– 12thgraders read below grade level. Close
to 70% of 8th graders read below the proficient level, and 25% fail to read at
the most basic level. Almost half of African-American and Hispanic
eighth-graders read below the basic level. Most dropouts are poor readers. The
Coalition for Juvenile Justice reports that more than one-third of all juvenile
offenders -- median age, 15 and a half -- read below the fourth-grade level.
And, CJJ adds, 82 percent of prison inmates are school dropouts, and a high
proportion are unable to read. Much more research is needed, especially to
answer three questions: 1) How should reading be taught in the upper grades? It
is still not clear whether tactics used to teach beginning reading apply to
older students as well; 2) Which early reading problems best predict problems
during adolescence? 3) How can schools motivate failing adolescents to read?
Virtually no research has been done in this area.
Revolutionary Phonics Method Advocated in Scotland -
Scotland's education minister wants schools across the country to consider adopting a new literacy approach known as synthetic phonics, which
teaches children letter sounds by employing all their senses, rather than using the "look and say" method. At one school that has tested the approach for
several years, boys are 30 months ahead of the national average for their age, while girls are 18 months ahead.
Writing Wrongs - Problem starts at home and in
class. Every week, the average American child plunks down in front of the
television for about 20 hours.
'Hamlet' Too Hard? Try a Comic Book - At a high
school in New York state, Diane Roy teaches the students who failed ninth-grade
English the first time around. Last year, on the heels of "Hamlet," she
presented her class with a graphic novel--essentially a variety of comic book.
Such books are turning up on classroom bookshelves--especially in classes where
teachers are desperate to engage struggling and reluctant adolescent readers.
New Children of the Code Interviews:
Dr. Louisa Cook Moats and
Dr. Terrence Deacon -
Dr. Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D., specializes in the implementation of
school-wide interventions for improving literacy. She directed the NICHD Early
Reading Interventions Project in Washington, D.C. and as a Distinguished
Visiting Scholar, worked on the California Reading Initiative. She is the author
of many books and articles including: Speech to Print: Language Essentials for
Teachers, and LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling).
Her work in neuro-psychology and on large scale reading projects has provided
her a unique perspective on the social-educational inertia that constrains how
teachers and parents think about the challenges involved in learning to read.
Dr. Terrence Deacon is professor of Biological Anthropology and Linguistics
at U.C. Berkeley. He is the author of The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of
Language and the Brain. Dr. Deacon is a renowned neuroscientist whose work
provides an important backdrop for understanding the neurological challenges
involved in learning to read. Our conversation with Dr. Deacon stretches from
the origins of language and consciousness to the problems of automatizing the
symbolic processing necessary for reading.
Struggling Decoders: Reading
Fluently and Making Meaning of Text - As an
elementary school teacher and principal for the past 31 years, I have had ample
opportunities to listen to students read. By the time that they are in the third
grade, most students are able to read with fluency and make sense of at least
simple texts. Some students with learning disabilities plod through the same
texts that their peers read with ease. When I think about these students, I am
struck with how their reading in many ways mirrors my reading when I use my eyes
and, to a lesser extent, my fingers.
In Cities, a Battle to Improve Teenage Literacy (PDF) - Early results are
impressive. More than two-thirds of the 10th graders in the program last
semester had higher reading scores after four months -- and 24 percent jumped
two or more grade levels.
Reading is Fundamental to Academic Turnaround - It's not easy being a
kid. Especially one diagnosed with a learning disability in an age of crowded
classrooms and schools grappling with tight budgets.
Speaker Educates Teachers, Leaders on Literacy -
The message was clear to the 150-some crowd who came to hear one of the
nation's authorities on literacy: Reading is not a natural skill, but one that
needs to be taught. The way to teach it is through scientifically proven
methods, Reid Lyon told educators. "Helping kids learn to read is much easier
than helping adults adjust," said Lyon.
What We Sing, We Remember Forever! - What Pearson author put this fact to
good use in teaching reading? In 1962 a former primary grade teacher and mother
of three preschool children was washing dishes and talking to her youngest son
to keep him nearby and occupied as she completed her task. She had been tutoring
beginning and remedial reading students for years, but was still surprised by
what she learned in that conversation with her 4 year old. To order,
Imaging Study Reveals Brain Function of Poor Readers Can Improve
- A brain imaging study has shown that, after they overcome their
reading disability, the brains of formerly poor readers begin to function like
the brains of good readers, showing increased activity in a part of the brain
that recognizes words. The study appears in the May 1 "Biological Psychiatry"
and was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Improving Family Literacy - To counter factors that may limit family
literacy activities, many schools are creating formalized family literacy
programs that target disadvantaged parents and children. Such programs often
consider the cultural background of the family, encompass all literacy
activities that occur in the home, and involve the family's adults as well as
the children. Learn the components of a comprehensive family literacy program.
Reading First and No Child Left Behind - The
Children of the Code project is pleased to announce the availability of its
interview with Chris Doherty, program director in the Office of the Assistant
Secretary within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). He is
responsible for the administration of the Reading First Program for the U.S.
Department of Education.
Club - Ice cream, pizza, field trips and books
that grab the reader's attention. These are the tools Delhi Middle School
librarian Sandra Lingo is using to get sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys
hooked on reading in the "All Guys Book Club."
To The Dogs - Colonel marches into Longview Elementary, offers
a toothy smile and handshake to a stranger, and leaps into his chair,
ready for work. In his clutch, however, is one strange briefcase: A
chew toy. As states across the country work to build children's
literacy skills, some Utah schools are throwing reading to the dogs.
Man's best friend is working in a handful of schools and several
public libraries to help readers improve, boost their self-esteem,
instill a love for the written word — or just have fun.
Parents and Specialists Help Boy Deal With Dyslexia -
MEG, or magnetoencephalography, allows scientists to take snapshots of
brain activity every millisecond. After spending about 30 minutes with Peter,
including a break for a snack, UT researchers had the data they needed to
identify his problem. Most people read using the left half of their brain
exclusively. Peter, like other dyslexics, was using the left and right lobes.
What Research Says About Reading - Struggling readers are instructionally
needy. Classroom teachers will never have the time to provide the one-to-one
support that so many of these students require. Research has shown that tutoring
is an effective intervention that can provide this one-to-one support and raise
Culbreath Accept My $500,000 Challenge? - Where
is the Proof behind the Home Reading Program Claims? Dr. Gary Adams
offers a $500,000 challenge to Myrna Culbreath to prove her claims about
the effectiveness of the “PhonicsOpoly” game. His report also questions the
grade achievement claims by “Hooked On Phonics” and “The Phonics Game” home
reading programs. To assist possible purchasers, Dr. Adams provides links to the
Better Business Bureau for company reports.
Direct Instruction Not Best Way To Teach Reading - A three-year study of
methods of teaching reading shows that highly scripted, teacher-directed methods
of teaching reading were not as effective as traditional methods that allowed a
more flexible approach. The study, headed by Randall Ryder, professor of
curriculum and instruction in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of
Education, also found that teachers felt the most highly scripted method, known
as Direct Instruction (DI), should be used in limited situations, not as the
primary method of teaching students to read. Urban teachers in particular
expressed great concern over the DI's lack of sensitivity to issues of poverty,
culture and race. Ryder's study looked at a range of approaches, from the very
scripted DI approach to more traditional, holistic approaches that balanced
systematic instruction with more open-ended classroom experiences. According to
Ryder, "Most approaches work for some children -- no single approach works for
all children. Which method is the best method for teaching reading varies for
any student at any given time."
Children of the Code: PBS Documentary on
Reading - In collaboration with
New Horizons for Learning,
Learning 1st Productions and Implicity,
transcripts of many of the interviews will be published in advance of the series
broadcast. The first in the series is the interview with Dr. Grover
of the Institute of Education Sciences
and Assistant Secretary of Education of
the U.S. Department of Education. The interview can be found at
website, Children of the Code,
expects to publish a new interview every few weeks.
Click here to
see the index of transcripts that will be coming soon.
Click here to be notified of future interview releases.
Wrightslaw Explains Reading
and No Child Left Behind - Because two-thirds
of students are not proficient readers when they graduate from high school, No
Child Left Behind focuses on teaching children to read.
Reading Today is Best Taught
by Old Ways - Educators' efforts to ease
conflict hurt neediest kids. Schools are
cranking up again all over America under new federal mandates for measuring the
quality of education and the argument is still raging over whether it is better
to try to drill reading into kids or to ease them into it with methods that may
leave some children behind but leaves no child resentful.
Camp Literacy jump-starts kids for school success -
Seven-year-old Felicia Wojciechowski was having
trouble reading, but by the end of Camp Literacy last summer she was reading
at a much higher level.
Ten Myths of Reading
Instruction - Learning to read is about as natural as learning to juggle
blindfolded while riding a unicycle backwards. In
this article, Sebastian Wren
details ten common myths of reading instruction.
NV Reading goes to the dogs -
Children's program builds
self-esteem, reading ability
Rommel - Everyone said his 10-year-old student would never
learn to read. For a long time, he believed it, too.
Accessibility in the Library
- Public Libraries are a
unique governmental entity. A person does not have
to live under the federal poverty
line to be eligible for a library card.
There is no medical exam, no asset
limit test, not even an interview with a
social worker for access to all the
things a library contains.
Learning to love books, even before reading -
Program lends materials
to eager kids.
Reading by Nine:
Brain studies may lead
to reading revolution
Schools seek early reading on low scorers
- Somewhere between
15 and 20 percent of Newton students are not reading at a proficient level
...and, the non-proficiency rate for students of
color and students receiving subsidized lunches is more than twice the
rate of the general school population. Now, for
the first time since 1973, each of Newton's 15 elementary schools has a
full-time literacy specialist.
Researchers support early
intervention for all children with reading difficulties
How schools teach reading is again a subject of much public
attention - As you know, the
discussion is particularly focused on whether reading instruction
is based on research, and if so, what kind.
million kids at risk of failing in school -
Advocacy group wants more literacy programs for 'dead-end'
All citizens are
damaged by illiteracy
have proved their worth
Reading rally attracts
tutors, even students
Read the article "Children's
Reading Disability Attributed to Brain Impairment"
recruits literacy volunteers -
Mentors are needed to help elementary students in Lansing.
Some schools to get funds to boost kids' reading skills -
Some Oakland County schools may be able to win as
much as $400,000 to teach children to read.
support early intervention for all children with reading difficulties"
- National experts in the field of reading and
literacy have found research evidence that challenges federal policy
for making children eligible to receive some special education
Teens Get a Second Chance at Literacy
L.A. Unified begins a back-to-basics reading
program for secondary students. The effort is being watched by districts
Richardson schools to
switch reading programs - Focus
moves from one-on-one tutoring to teaching
Children’s Reading Disability
Attributed To Brain Impairment
Support for Reading Recovery:
Letters to the Editor of
Article about literacy:
Resource from a parent: Parenting a Struggling
Reader: A Guide to Diagnosing and Finding Help for Your Child's
Reading Difficulties by Susan Hall & Louisa Cook Moats
- You can read an excerpt from chapter 1 on the Barnes
& Noble website if you search under the book
title and then "click"
on the book title. You
then have an option to "click"
to read an excerpt. Among the many things covered in the book
are "central linguistic processing" issues.
www.barnesandnoble.com for more information.
tool for 4-year-olds:
Family Literacy: A Strategy for Educational Improvement
There is an overwhelming relationship between parental
education levels, parental involvement, and children's school success.
Family literacy directly affects the role and effectiveness of parents
in helping their children learn. Click
here to download the pdf brief (size=222kb).
= CAT Online Phonics/Learn to Read Module - This
online book/module is available for free online. "I
think that the sounds available on the site (that coincide with each
letter) is a very nice touch. It is a humble
approach to phonics from the UK."
Department of Education:
Choosing a Reading Program: A Consumer's Guide
(PDF) - Descriptions and evaluations of 21
programs used in Ohio elementary schools.
Organizations & Websites
Directory of National and State Literacy Contacts
- Locate literacy programs in your state. The National
Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is a federal organization that shares
information about literacy and supports the development of
high-quality literacy services so all Americans can develop essential
Michigan Literacy, Inc. - Locate literacy programs in your
county (Michigan only). To learn more about Michigan Literacy,
- Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and
literacy resources to those families who need them most. RIF
operates through a network of 435,000 volunteers and gives away 16
million books a year at more than 23,000 sites nationwide. These sites
include schools, libraries, community centers, child-care centers,
hospitals, migrant worker camps, Head Start and Even Start programs,
homeless shelters, and detention centers.
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
Get Ready to Read website (an initiative of the NCLD):
Internet Special Ed:
The National Literacy Hotline has a 24-hour bilingual
(Spanish/English) operator service that provides information on:
literacy/education classes, GED testing services, volunteer
organizations, and a learning disabilities brochure.