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Readers In The Outfield Event Recap, 2019 Edition

Posted on: April 29, 2019 by in Blog
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On Saturday, April 27, 2019, the sixth annual Readers in the Outfield event took place at Angels Stadium. The event, sponsored by the Angels Baseball Foundation and MemorialCare, celebrated the 100 proud second-graders who recently graduated from The Literacy Project program.

The Readers in the Outfield event has been held every year since 2013 to recognize the literary achievements of enrolled second-graders. This year those students were proudly representing the Santa Ana Unified and the Anaheim City School Districts. Also in attendance were their Master Teachers along with the following board members of The Literacy Project, Penny Fox, Sinan Kanatsiz, and Angels Baseball Chairman Dennis Kuhl. The founder of The Literacy Project, Sue Grant, was also able to take part in this year’s special celebratory event.  

An Angelic Lunch

The second-grade students and their Master Teachers were treated to a sponsored lunch, courtesy of Legends, at the Saint Archer Brewery Restaurant inside the stadium. There, they shared a delicious meal with famed Angels Alumni—Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, and Clyde Wright. These former players really lived up to their team’s namesake by sharing their own inspirational stories about life, literacy, and perseverance with the students.

Work Hard, Play Hard

The students and Angels Alumni wrapped up their meal by playing The New Phonics Game; a game and learning tool co-developed by The Literacy Project and The Regents of the University of California. The New Phonics Game is made up of both card and board games that help teach children the specific phonetic skills needed for reading comprehension and literacy development. This game was instrumental to the literacy success of the students who graduated from The Literacy Project’s program and was especially fun to play with the Angels Alumni.

The students also had the opportunity to participate in a raffle and win prizes such as autographed Angels baseballs and autographed pictures. Furthermore, there were outdoor games on the field, face painting, and a prize wheel for the graduates to take part in. The students truly had a wonderful day. Executive Director of The Literacy Project, Kimberly Vig, expresses her gratitude to the sponsors who made it all possible, “We are so grateful to partner with the Angels Baseball Foundation to create Readers in the Outfield for the last six years. It’s amazing to see the look on our student’s faces as they enter the stadium. They deserved to have a fun day and be recognized for their reading achievements.”

The Fun Continues

The hosts of this year’s Readers in the Outfield event made sure that each student knew the value of their hard work and dedication. To recognize their outstanding achievement in overcoming illiteracy, each student left the stadium that day with four tickets to enjoy a future 2019 season Angels game with their families.

The sixth annual Readers in the Outfield event would not have been possible without the hard work and support from our generous sponsors, our board members, and our Master Teachers. To learn more about future events and how you can support our mission to put an end to illiteracy, click here.

Five Essential Skills Needed for Childhood Literacy

Posted on: April 29, 2019 by in Blog
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The Literacy Project strives to secure a better future for children by helping them improve their literacy skills. Literacy skills simply refer to the skills a child needs in order to read and write. The most essential of these include:

  1. Phonetic awareness
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Print awareness
  4. Spelling
  5. Storytelling


This post will share why these five skills are so important for childhood literacy as well as some ways you can help to improve these skills with your children at home. We hope that by sharing this information, The Literacy Project will further its mission to remove the impediment of illiteracy from the lives of children.

Phonetic Awareness

Phonetic awareness is the perception of how a word sounds. When a child begins to recognize different parts of a single word, they are developing their sense of phonetic awareness. Often this skill will begin to develop naturally during the course of childhood. For your child, this might happen just by listening to their parents, teachers, and others in their surrounding environment.  

Although this skill naturally begins to develop for many children, it is important to continue building upon it as your child grows. Here’s why: when a child is able to break down a word into individual sounds, they are more likely to become strong readers and writers. This is because they have learned how to sound words out. This gives them a huge advantage when they come across a brand new word. Help them use this phonetic approach to sound it out and they’ll grow their vocabulary in no time.   

How to enhance this skill:

  • Practice rhyming words and creating poems with your child. This helps to teach your child that rhymes depend on words that end with the same types of sounds.
  • Read books to your child that employ a lot of rhyming such as Dr. Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
  • Practice singing with your child. Song lyrics are often broken down into individual syllables and sounds.
  • When you read together, practice sounding out unknown or tricky words. For example, kangaroo sounded out turns into kan-ga-roo.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary is composed of all the words in a particular language. And having a large vocabulary is crucial for reading comprehension. Consequently, having good vocabulary skills can mean the difference between a strong reader and poor one. This is why it is so important to start working on learning new words with your child early on in their literacy journey.


Children who struggle with reading often lack a strong vocabulary. They see reading as a difficult chore because they are unable to grasp the meaning behind the words they are reading. This struggle can be avoided by helping your child improve their vocabulary skills at home.

How to enhance this skill:

  • Read out loud to your child and read frequently together; especially picture books that show the definition of the word behind the picture.
  • Point out new words or objects to your children and explain their meaning.
  • Have lots of everyday conversations with your children; this is a great way for them to pick up on new words and have the opportunity to ask you about them.
  • Participate in fun vocabulary games often! Check out our recommendations in our recent blog post: Why Learning New Vocabulary Improves Literacy.

Print Awareness

One of the most important literacy skills a child can develop is print awareness or an awareness of words and books. Children who notice the printed word around them are more likely to develop a love for reading and writing.


A curiosity about books is something to encourage. For example, it’s important to show your children how to correctly hold a book, which way the pages turn in a book, as well as which page to start and finish on. Once they get familiar with books, you can bet that a love for reading the words inside them will follow.

How to enhance this skill:

  • While reading a book together, help your child to hold the book in the proper upright position and point out the words on the page.  
  • Bring attention to printed words wherever you go by pointing them out on street signs or on restaurant menus for example.
  • Practice letting your child turn the pages of books: board books and textured books are great for this and for engaging your child’s curiosity.
  • Visit the library and have your child pick out a book for themselves; this way they can see lots of books and they’ll get excited to read them!

Spelling

Dedicating time to spelling and letter recognition will help your child succeed when it comes to literacy. The benefit of having strong spelling skills is similar to that of phonetic awareness; your child will be able to break down large words into smaller parts, in this case, individual letters. Knowing their letters and being able to spell out difficult words is an essential reading skill that will help your child become a stronger reader and writer.

How to enhance this skill:

  • To start, have your child practice spelling their own name. Then move on to other names or places.
  • Practice spelling out words that might have irregular spelling like “night” or “dye”.
  • Read books together that focus on spelling such as Alphabet books.
  • Download structured spelling apps that turn spelling practice into a fun game.
  • Hold practice spelling bees and have a prize for the winner!

Storytelling

Since the dawn of spoken language, people have told oral stories. These stories served as entertainment, but also as a way to teach important lessons to future generations. So of course it’s quite natural for your child to begin developing this important skill on their own.

Storytelling makes the list because it is crucial to reading comprehension. Have you ever noticed how engaged you are in a story as you retell it? That deep level of engagement is why this skill is so essential. When your child is able to describe events or retell a story they’ve been exposed to, they are drastically increasing their reading comprehension level. Furthemore, storytelling is a great way to keep your child motivated in the reading department; after all, everyone loves a good story.

How to enhance this skill:

  • Tell plenty of stories to your child and encourage them to think of alternate endings or alternate events that take place in said stories..
  • Get creative by asking your child to think of what happens next in a story. Encourage them to think creatively and tell their version of the story to you.
  • Read a book that contains only pictures (no words) together; encourage your child to think of a backstory behind the pictures you come across.
  • Have conversations with your child about your day and share any events that occur, ask them to share stories from their day too!

Children need all 5 of these skills to help them flourish during their literacy development. By using some of these helpful tips, we hope that your child meets with reading and writing success. For more information on childhood literacy, visit our blog.

Teacher Of The Quarter – Kelly Pruitt

Posted on: April 1, 2019 by in Highlight
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Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

I decided to become a teacher because I enjoyed working with children. I decided to start at a preschool as an aide to see how I did with the kids and realized I really enjoyed it and that I was good with them. Also, my father was a teacher so I had a mentor in this field and I looked up to him as a teacher. As a young student, I had many strong impactful teachers and they also inspired me to give teaching a try.

How has teaching impacted your life?

I have felt a sense of contributing towards the future and the greater good by being a teacher. I am always proud to say I am a teacher when asked what I do.

What is your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part of being a teacher is twofold: I get to improve a child’s life by helping him/her learn to read while also getting to know the child a bit and share a small piece of his/her life.

Tell us about a memorable time when you were teaching with The Literacy Project. 

A memorable day I had working with The Literacy Project was when I was working on Game 13, R Controlled words. This game has many pretend words in it, which is fun in and of itself. The quirky words lend themselves to a sense of lightness when reading them, because they are just nonsensical and fun to read. One of my students, Levi, and myself actually got into a fit of giggles with them, and soon the whole group couldn’t stop laughing. It was nice because this is the last game in the program, we had been working diligently through the entire program, and it was fun to end our last game on this lighthearted note.

What books do you and your students enjoy reading the most?

I don’t really get to read books to my students, but Dr. Seuss books do fit in well with our short vowel/rhyming words game, so I often read Hop on Pop after playing that game. I enjoy all types of books and literature. My students seem to enjoy picture books appropriate for their age such as Olivia and Pete the Cat.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A surprising fact about myself is that I had problems with my pronunciation of R’s when I was in 2nd grade, and I had to go to speech therapy. It is mildly ironic that I now work with as a phonics teacher with 2nd grade students, some of whom have pronunciation problems as well. I can really identify with them.

What was your first impression of The Literacy Project? 

My first impression of The Literacy Project was that it was such a unique and cool way to work with kids. Classrooms are not set up where you get to play games with kids very often, if at all, and I thought The Literacy Project had really hit a homerun in finding a great way to help kids learn to read.

What made you decide to work with us?

I decided to work with The Literacy Project because I felt it was going to be a great way to interact with the students and I felt like the program would be very helpful to them. I also was excited to help kids learn to read. Lastly, I thought my boss was really great and I could see myself working for her.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about working with The Literacy Project?

This program is a fun, interactive way to teach phonics to young readers. The games build upon each other and break down phonics into learnable pieces. It is very rewarding to teach these students and see how much growth they make between the pre and post assessments.  

Why Learning New Vocabulary Improves Literacy

Posted on: March 22, 2019 by in Blog
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Growing your child’s vocabulary is vital to the improvement of their literacy skills. The Literacy Project recognizes this fact; that’s why we’re dedicated to creating school programs like The New Phonics Game™, which helps young readers understand new words by breaking them down phonetically. The Literacy Project knows that each time a child learns a new word, a new door unlocks, allowing them to engage with their reading and writing in a more meaningful way.

Here are some of the most important reasons why learning new vocabulary improves literacy in children.

Learning New Vocabulary Promotes Reading Comprehension

Developing solid reading comprehension skills early in a child’s life can make all the difference when it comes to literacy. When a child learns new words, reading becomes a much easier task because there are fewer unknown words on the page. This is why learning new vocabulary is so important— it can drastically boost your child’s reading comprehension ability.

Learning Vocabulary Will Help Improve Your Child’s Writing

Aside from reading comprehension, learning new vocabulary will also help your child become a better writer. They will have an easier time expressing their thoughts on the page if they have a larger foundation of words to pull from.

As a child grows, they are required to write more frequently at school and often, they are required to use a formal academic tone in their writing. This means that they must rely on more than just the words they’ve absorbed from everyday conversations. In order to grasp more advanced words, children need to be taught either in school or by self-imposed reading.

Help Your Child Learn New Vocabulary At Home

There are plenty of free tools available to help kids learn new vocabulary outside of school. After having a conversation about internet safety, you can supervise your child as you both use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to learn some new words.

Consider a site like FreeRice.com, which can help your child learn new vocabulary while they participate in social service. Each time they define a term correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program, who then donate the rice to a country in need. This is a fun way to learn new words and it also serves as a reminder of the positive social impact their knowledge can have on the world.

Free reference tools are also available to download on any device such as Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus app. These are particularly helpful when your child is reading; if they have a vocabulary question, they can easily check the definition and usage in real time without needing access to a print dictionary.

Learning vocabulary early in your child’s life will benefit them immensely when it comes to improving their literacy skills. Whenever your child learns a new word, they increase their chances for success in school, but also in other aspects of their future lives as well. To read more about the drastic impact literacy can have on your child’s professional future, check out our article on the 30 Key Child Literacy Stats Parents Need To Be Aware Of.

The Literacy Project knows that so much of our 21st-century lives depend on our ability to communicate effectively. That is why we are so passionate about helping your child develop an interest in learning vocabulary. Just working on vocabulary for 5 minutes a day with your child can make all the difference.

How to Integrate Technology into your Child’s Literacy Development

Posted on: March 22, 2019 by in Blog
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There are many ways a parent or loved one can use technology at home to help their child foster a love for reading and writing. Before trying out the following fun ideas, it’s worth mentioning that reviewing internet safety with your child and providing adult supervision are both important when using any internet connected device. Once those ground rules are covered, smartphones, tablets, and computers are amazing resources you can use to jumpstart your child’s literacy development.

Technology is particularly useful in teaching kids literacy skills because it caters to every learning style– visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. This helps to foster an environment of fun and engaged learning; which is something we are very passionate about at The Literacy Project. Here are a few simple ways to integrate technology into your child’s literacy development and improve their literacy skills.

Use Apps to Practice Writing Letters and Numbers

Apps can be a great tool to get children psyched about learning to read and write. There are apps like LetterSchool that can be downloaded for android or IOS, which makes practicing your letters and numbers fun and interesting. This technology takes something that might be viewed as hard or boring, and transforms it into an enjoyable game. The app uses engaging animations and sound effects to encourage active participation and focused learning.

Use Photos to Make a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

This is an easy way to utilize the camera on your smartphone or tablet to create an interactive vocabulary learning experience. Simply use your device’s camera to take pictures of objects that you might find on your child’s vocabulary list. Have your child point out the object in the photo and then practice writing it down. Your child will benefit from this fun activity by internalizing new vocabulary both visually and verbally.

Create A Digital Poster Board of Your Child’s Next Book

You can use technology to create excitement about reading print by assembling a digital poster board based on a grade-level appropriate book. Search Google to find the book’s cover artwork and paste the images to a document or slide show.

You can also find easy to read, one-sentence reviews and include this on your digital poster board too. These reviews are a great way for them to get pumped about reading while also learning new vocabulary.

If the book has been adapted to film, you might be able to find a movie trailer to watch together as well. Including images from the movie or a link to the trailer are just some examples of interactive additions to your poster that your child is sure to love.

These are just a few ways in which technology can help children to become confident readers and writers. It’s The Literacy Project’s mission to shrink the literacy gap in struggling second graders by sharing tips like these with parents and families. We are passionate about making this information accessible to those who want to make a positive impact in their children’s lives at home.

Integrating technology into your child’s literacy development can transform reading and writing into a fun activity for children. At The Literacy Project, we strive to foster environments that help children who struggle with illiteracy and bring out that enjoyment. For more innovative ideas and other important literacy information, please visit our site’s helpful blog page.

Illiteracy In The Nation: How Your Schools Can Help

Posted on: February 14, 2019 by in Blog
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In the United States, literacy deeply and persistently affects access students have in education, economic development, and opportunities for success. Children around the country remain functionally illiterate and read below the basic level. Organizations like The Literacy Project address illiteracy at its earliest stage by teaching at-risk second-graders how to read. For schools around the nation, good work is being done in a various ways to address child illiteracy. Here are some ways schools help tackle illiteracy and improve their students reading development.

Continued Priority For Literacy Instruction and Events

Although the critical reading periods are within the lower grades, some schools prioritize literacy instruction all the way through from K to 12 to ensure students graduate at or above grade level. These schools advocate for a literacy-rich environment – full of print, word walls, books, and reading materials  – that provides children with assistance in phonics, sight word growth, comprehension and vocabulary enhancement. Government assisted programs such as SWIFT Schools and the CEEDAR Center under the Dept. of Education also provides academic and behavioral support to promote the learning and academic achievement of all students.

Host Reading-Related Events

Schools that host Scholastic Book events create environments that promote reading, collaboration, fun and learning with affordable books. Teachers may even organize book reviews for their students, and help them share their insights on books with each other and their school.

Games and Literacy Development

When schools link literacy with more popular interests such as sports or games, children are more likely to show interest in the reading material. Part of The Literacy Project’s program to tackle illiteracy is through the use of The New Phonics Game. This game is a part of a 6-week reading program to promote collaborative learning amongst students through group experience and teaches the fundamental principles of phonics and literacy.

Progression of Libraries

Research shows that when students have access to libraries, they are more inclined to interact with books and spend more time reading. Well-funded School Libraries and local libraries are environments where students have better access to interesting books and materials – both in print and online.

Daily Literacy Integration

Many schools and companies have implemented new methods to encourage children to read and improve child literacy. Schools in Umatilla, Florida and Buffalo, New York placed vending machines that disperse books, a release that was part of the states literacy week.

Literacy Campaigns

A schoolwide reading culture is essential for children to view reading a fundamental part of their lifestyle. Schools that encourage “read alouds” exposes students to moe vocabulary and provides opportunities for meaningful discussion. In the Becoming a Nation of Readers report (1985), research showed that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading. Some schools also support guest readers to classrooms to take an active parts in reading sessions. If students have favorite books of their own, schools may even sponsor author visits to help build connections for students.

School and Family Collaborations

Some schools offer “Two Generation” programs that afford both children and their parents with education, job training, and community assistance. Books Clubs are also popular among students and parents to foster connectivity around books and reading. When organizations and communities provide literacy opportunities to not only cater for children but for their parents, they encourage reading to be an integral part of a family dynamic.

Conclusion

When schools address the areas where students can improve their literacy capabilities, the better the outcomes for students and the nation as a whole. Though there are various challenges to be crossed not only at the classroom level, but on a community level, the methods for helping students continue to gain momentum. The Literacy Project (TLP) is one organization that aims to bridge the literacy gap by introducing programs to remove the impediment of illiteracy and foster a life-long love of reading. By promoting learning in a fun, social and interactive environment and using proven methods to maximize the learning experience, The Literacy Project (TLP) accesses and enhances key phonic skills among struggling readers, and fosters self-sufficiency and economic success through academic achievement.

Discover how you can help your child read better today.

30 Key Child Literacy Stats Parents Need To Be Aware Of

Posted on: February 14, 2019 by in Blog
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There’s no question that literacy is an essential element to a child’s development and opens the door to a brighter future. Just how important literacy becomes has been a question many educators and researchers have sought to answer. Foundations such as The Literacy Project seek to improve reading skill levels among struggling readers and target the growing illiteracy among school-age children. Some of the most important statistics from the National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, and U.S. Census Bureau underscore the critical need to address illiteracy in the United States:

  • Currently, 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate and cannot read above a fifth-grade level
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth-grade level
  • 57% of students failed the California Standards Test in English
  • 1/3 of fourth-graders reach the proficient reading level
  • 25% of students in California school systems are able to perform basic reading skills
  • 85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading
  • 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read
  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read

If you’re a parent and want a deeper dive at the situation, read below for a collection of stats in keys areas in child literacy to help prepare you to make a difference in the lives of your children.

On Literacy Development and Early Application

  1. By age 2, a child’s brain is as active as an adult’s and by age 3 the brain is more than twice as active as an adult’s – and stays that way for the first 10 years of life.
  2. Cognitive processes develop rapidly in the first few years of life. In fact, by age 3, roughly 85% of the brain is developed. However, traditional education takes places in grades K-12, which begin at age five.
  3. According to the Department of Education, the more students read or are read to for fun on their own time and at home, the higher their reading scores, generally.
  4. Reading and being read aloud to has an impact that extends beyond just hearing stories.
  5. 65% of America’s fourth graders do not read at a proficient level.
  6. In a study of nearly 100,000 U.S. school children, access to printed materials was the key variable affecting reading acquisition.
  7. Children’s academic successes at ages 9 and 10 can be attributed to the amount of talk they hear from birth through age 3. Young children who are exposed to certain early language and literacy experiences also prove to be good readers later on in life.
  8. Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language. Books for kids actually contain 50% more words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently than regular conversation, TV or radio.
  9. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to: count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%), write their own names (54% vs. 40%), read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
  10. Higher reading exposure was 95% positively correlated with a growing region supporting semantic language processing in the brain.
  11. The most important aspect of parent talk is its amount. Mothers who frequently speak to their infants have their children learn almost 300 more words by age 2 than did children whose mothers rarely spoke to them. Simultaneously, children learn grammatical syntax and the social nuances around communication in their community.
  12. Children exposed to fewer colors, less touch, little interaction with adults, fewer sights and sounds, and less language, actually have smaller brains.
  13. The number of books in the home correlates significantly with higher reading scores for children.
  14. Students who choose what they read and have an informal environment in which to read tend to be more motivated, read more and show greater language and literacy development.
  15. Children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than 3 times a week.

On Social and Cultural Impacts of Illiteracy

  1. Nationally, only 35% of public school students were at or above Proficient in grade 4 reading.
  2. In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.  
  3. 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.
  4. 37% of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning.
  5. 50% of children from low-income communities start first grade up to two years behind their peers.
  6. Researchers estimate that before ever entering kindergarten, cognitive scores for children of low-income families are likely to average 60 percent lower than those in the highest socioeconomic groups (a pattern that remains true throughout high school).
  7. 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
  8. 80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children.
  9. Children from lower-income homes have limited access to books. Because of this, there are fewer home and preschool language and literacy opportunities for preschoolers from low-income families than children from economically advantaged backgrounds.
  10. Nationally, about half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.
  11. On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age-appropriate books in their homes.
  12. A child is 90% likely to remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of first grade.
  13. Children in low-income families lack essential one-on-one reading time, whereas on average, children who grow up middle-class families have been exposed to 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading. The average child growing up in a low-income family, in contrast, has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading.
  14. One in six children who are not reading proficiently in the third grade does not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. (rate is higher in children from low-income families and rural areas)
  15. 68% of America’s fourth graders read at a below proficient level, and 82% of those children are from low-income families.

Considering statistics of higher rates of school dropout, unemployment, and poverty, as well as the long-term implications of the third-grade reading achievement gap, The Literacy Project was established to make a significant and lasting impact to children through the power of reading. With a comprehensive literacy intervention program, The Literacy Project strives to improve reading skill levels among struggling readers at Title 1 schools throughout Southern California.

Discover how you can help your child read better today.

10 Key Benefits of Phonics Education with Children

Posted on: January 29, 2019 by in Blog
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As a parent, one of the most important things in life is seeing your child do well in school and life, and one key stepping stone on this path is becoming a good reader. For teachers, it is all the same, as The Department of Education states that deploying a phonics education at an early age can also help children develop culturally, socially, and emotionally. Research shows that phonics when taught correctly is one of the most effective ways of teaching children to learn to read, and can lay a proper foundation for the success of a child. This article will further cover the top benefits of phonics education with children.

Reading exercises the brain.

Reading in itself is a complex mental task that helps increase a young reader’s intelligence by building new neural pathways in the brain. Phonics allows children to see letters written on a page and provides them with the tools to understand it properly. Beyond reading and writing, it helps children develop general thinking skills such as probabilistic reasoning and reasoning by analogy.

Children who practice reading often through phonics, get better.

The old saying “practice makes perfect” ties in well with phonics, as it is an important tool for children to develop reading fluency. Over time, children are able to develop into fluent readers who can quickly recognize familiar words and easily sound out new words they encounter.

Sound to symbol recognition becomes faster

A child who learns reading through phonics will have excellent phonemic awareness – which is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate letter symbols with their appropriate sound.

Reading builds a child’s patience and concentration.

Most of the time while a child practices reading, they are required to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the task at hand. They also become better students by following a teacher’s instruction over time.

Reading improves grasp of vocabulary and language.

Extensive reading helps children broaden their vocabulary and general knowledge. Phonics allows young readers to develop their reading comprehension and decode new words as they read. With practice, this action becomes so automatic that they are able to easily understand the overall meaning of words while they are reading.

Phonics education helps children be imaginative and empathetic

As children develop their reading skills and learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience, they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation. They see the world with new eyes and can better visualize the descriptions of what they read.

Sounding out unfamiliar words is easier

Donald R. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton and Francine Johnson, authors of “Words Their Way,” mention that teaching phonics allows students to find the regular patterns of words, and connect them for easier reading. Unfamiliar words are easier for unravel as children develop their phonemic awareness.

Children learn syllable structure

A student who learns phonics becomes more familiar with syllable structure. For example, acknowledging that a closed syllable will end in a consonant and have a short vowel, while an open syllable will end in a vowel that makes a long sound. English structures become clearer and easier to understand through phonics education.

Higher reading skills result in better success in school.

Through Phonics education, children become more active with their reading, which also promotes achievement in other subjects, not just English. Children can better grasp other types of knowledge across their curriculum.

The learning experience is fun!

Teaching phonics is often designed to be fun and engaging for children. For example, games are often tied to lessons, and the visuals which accompany the lessons are usually very vibrant. This approach is meant to enhance the learning experience, and ultimately results in better overall development of reading and writing skills.

Conclusion

Of course, all children are individuals, each with their own learning styles. Phonics education is one method that can be incorporated into a complete, well-rounded reading program that encourages visual learners to recognize whole words by sight, and creates opportunities for extensive reading and creative writing. The Literacy Project (TLP) aims to bridge the literacy gap of emerging 2nd-graders, by introducing programs to remove the impediment of illiteracy and foster a life-long love of reading.

Discover how you can help your child read better today.

How Your Child Can Master Reading with The New Phonics Game™

Posted on: January 29, 2019 by in Blog
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Teaching kids to read is an essential element of their curriculum in school. For parents and teachers who want their children to read efficiently, using phonics is one of the most effective methods to help kids master reading. With a solid foundation, the ability to read becomes easier, and when incorporated on a daily basis, becomes an essential life skill. Fortunately, The Literacy Project (TLP) offers a comprehensive instructional program, which ties in The New Phonics Game™ as a core learning tool, to improve both academic and attitudinal levels of students to help them perform better in English proficiency standards.

How It Works

Co-developed by The Regents of the University of California, The New Phonics Game™ works in alignment with Common Core and collaborative learning methods. The program runs for six-weeks, and is comprised of 30 one-hour sessions, five days a week during daytime instruction.

The program is administered by TLP’s Master Teachers, who are certified and reviewed as reading and language arts specialists. The program is also provided at “no cost” to both the school and at-risk students in the second grade.

The Literacy Project’s core learning tool, The New Phonics Game™, focuses on teaching specific skills to improve fundamental reading proficiency and phonetic awareness. It consists of 13 card games and board games modeled after popular children games like “Go Fish” and “Memory.” The games are aimed to help teach children the relationship between letters and sounds and develop the skills needed to read and write.

A Master Teacher conducts the program with up to six students in a group. With the help of visual materials and verbal coordination of sounds and words, Master Teachers are able to use the method of instruction to highlight aspect of the English structure. For example, one games requires using dice and set of Alphabet warm-up cards. Students take turns to pronounce the sound of the letter that appears on the card, where the student who says most correct number of sounds wins. A mix of similar games motivate students to participate in phonetic activities and improve their reading level.

All students are assessed for their reading skill level, and the measurable growth is determined using the California Basic Phonics Skills Test (BPST). A Longitudinal Study is conducted each year to measure the retention of acquired reading skills to ensure fundamental English proficiency.

Key Goals Of The Reading Program

The Literacy Project’s reading program focuses primarily on helping students to practice essential reading skills with an augmented experience in their classroom instruction. This is introduced in a unique and stimulating way, effectively extending the length of instruction to help students build to mastery of the English Language. The program aims to help children in every class do the following:

  • Use proven methods to maximize the learning experience
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Promote learning in a fun, socially interactive environment
  • Retain new reading skills to advance to comprehensive reading levels
  • Access and enhance key phonic skills amongst struggling readers
  • Lead to self-sufficiency and economic success.

This reading program utilizes The New Phonics Game™ to create a fun, socially interactive, lightly competitive and collaborative learning experience for students. Taught in all three learning modalities—auditory, visual and tactile—the program assures that no matter what a child’s learning style, the game is highly engaging, entertaining and effective. The Literacy Project (TLP) aims to use this program to bridge the literacy gap of emerging 2nd-graders and to remove the impediment of illiteracy and foster a life-long love of reading.

Discover how you can help your child read better today.