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Program 1: Beginning Reading Skills for Entering 1st Graders

Phonics - Comprehension - Love of Reading

In this program, your son or daughter will experience success, while learning and using the skills required for first grade reading, including beginning phonics, sight vocabulary, reading aloud, and comprehension skills. Our long term goal is to help you make sure your child becomes an avid reader. Children who read for pleasure, outside of school, become strong readers and confident students, whose lives are enriched through contact with great literature.

Instructors are drawn from the faculty of the Institute of Reading Development. Curriculum design and instructor training are supervised by Paul Copperman, a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Educational Research, and the author of Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child.

This lively and engaging class is conducted as a workshop, a format that facilitates full participation and allows the instructor to provide individual attention and the appropriate level of challenge and encouragement for each student. Class is divided into short segments, each devoted to a stimulating activity. During class, the teacher models activities and skills to the class as a group, and then coaches individual students as they practice and gain confidence with their new skills as applied to great children's literature. At home, students continue to practice these skills in workbooks and in books they select based upon personal interest.

Class meets for two hours, once a week for five weeks. Your child will practice at home for 30 minutes, four times per week. Parents are invited to attend parent meetings at the end of the first and last lessons.


The program includes direct instruction in phonics. This instruction is provided in-class, as well as through the highly successful and engaging workbook and audio CD, Pole and Vole and the Magic Bag. This workbook and CD provide phonics instruction in an adventure story format.

See sample pages from Pole and Vole and the Magic Bag (PDF document).

Students learn to ask questions about the story and characters, and to relate the elements of each story to their own lives. In this way our students become active readers with strong comprehension. Finally, students learn to imagine more clearly what is described by the author, to identify more completely with the thoughts and feelings of characters, and to anticipate what comes next in the story.

Beginning Reading:
Through in-class and at-home activities, students develop a larger sight vocabulary, learn to read simple words and sentences, and practice reading with expression.

All of the materials we use are designed to build reading skills and to encourage a love of reading. Students receive a phonics workbook, Pole and Vole and the Magic Bag. This beautifully illustrated workbook (with accompanying CD's) will hold your child's interest and generate enthusiastic participation, because it teaches phonics skills using adventure stories, characters, and music. Participants also receive a Course Workbook and Parent Manual, which contains in-class exercises, homework activities for each week of the course, and, for parents, a detailed overview of all skills and activities contained in the program.

See sample pages from the Course Workbook and Parent Manual (PDF document).

You and your child will also receive the Reading Development Booklist, an important tool for building strong reading skills and the lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. The Reading Development Booklist summarizes hundreds of the very best children's books. By using the recommendations, which are organized by level of difficulty, you and your child will know what books to choose and what sequence to read them in. Your child's instructor will evaluate your child's stage of reading development and provide guidance on where your child should begin in the booklist.

See sample pages from Reading Development Booklist (PDF document).

Tuition is $299.

Registration & Information
For more information or to register, call one of our Program Directors at 1-800-964-8888, 7 am - 9 pm Monday-Friday, 7 am - 6 pm Saturday, 8 am - 6 pm Sunday.

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