PHILADELPHIA, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a country that has offered and supported free education to its entire population it seems criminal that such a huge number of citizens are functionally illiterate, with reports stating as many as 50 million adult Americans fit that category, costing businesses and taxpayers over two hundred billion dollars annually in both remedial education and losses due to crime.
The National Reading Panel (NRP), following over two years of exhaustive research, concluded, in The Report of the National Reading Panel (2001), that there are five key factors in effective reading instruction. The first two elements are "phonemic awareness" and "systematic phonics instruction." These two factors had been taught since at least the time of Plato and had been the method used in America for scores of years but seemed to have vanished during the 20th century.
Interestingly, Rudlof Flesch isolated the decline of phonics instruction over five decades earlier, in 1955, in his best-selling book, Why Johnny Can't Read.
So, if it wasn't broken, why "fix" it?
That question troubled Sue Moore, a mother who had witnessed many youngsters struggling with reading. She and her partners founded Bright Sky Learning, L.L.C., an educational services firm, which compiled the most successful phonics teaching methods, aligned them directly to the NRP findings, and created a fully scripted, easy-to-use methodology that has been utilized in homes, schools, community and tutoring centers assisting thousands of students and adults nationwide.
A main component that sets Smart Way Reading and Spelling® and its direct derivative online version apart from other systematic and explicit phonics programs is that they are completely scripted providing fast, yet efficient, tutor training. The programs have taken participants, on average, from the 25th to the 50th percentile, according to their age, in about 30 hours of instruction.
"Instead of relying on games or gimmicks," says Moore, "students progress through well-organized lessons, learning the sounds of the letters and their combinations, which is essential to becoming a proficient reader." And, despite the yearly publication of "The Nation's Report Card" showing minimal, if any, real gains in reading abilities nation-wide, her company continues to serve those in need of reading assistance, working to achieve the goal of a literate America.
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SOURCE Bright Sky Learning, L.L.C.