We loved this article from Time Magazine!
"Now Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. “In Oakland, when you have 19% of Black kids reading—that can’t be maintained in the society,” says Weaver, who received an early and vivid lesson in the value of literacy in 1984 after his cousin got out of prison and told him the other inmates stopped harassing him when they realized he could read their mail to them. “It has been an unmitigated disaster.” In January 2021, the local branch of the NAACP filed an administrative petition with the Oakland unified school district (OUSD) to ask it to include “explicit instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension” in its curriculum."
This proves that we need to teach with more phonics!
"Weaver and his co-petitioners—including civil rights, educational, and literacy groups—want schools to spend more time in the youngest grades teaching the sounds that make up words and the letters that represent those sounds. His petition is part of an enormous rethink of reading instruction that is sweeping the U.S. So far this year, five states have passed laws that require training for teachers in phonics-based reading techniques, adding to the 13 that passed such laws last year. And in May, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that elementary schools in the biggest district in the country would be required to adopt a phonics-based reading program."
And now we need the rest of the states to do the same!
"This debate was supposedly settled in 2000, when the National Reading Panel, a big group of literacy experts that examined hundreds of studies on what instruction kids need to read, released a report. It recommended explicit instruction in the things Weaver’s petition asks for: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This was a victory for the phonics camps. But it is one thing to declare a war is over and another to parcel out territory."
The war is not over. But here at First Step Phonics we are doing our part! We'll get there!
Check out our First Books, the simplest phonics books for your new reader.
GARDNERVILLE, Nev., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a revolutionary assault on illiteracy, Veronica Blade, founder of First Step Phonics launches powerful new products proven effective against the illiteracy epidemic. Injecting common sense material and real results into a society ill with poverty and criminality, First Step Phonics fires the first salvo in the form of one-of-a-kind and easy-to-use, books and workbooks written with result-driven efficacy.
The connection between illiteracy and repeat criminal behavior was identified in a 1993 U.S. Department of Justice report which named the lack of phonics being taught in schools as THE source of illiteracy, yet the majority of schools today don't utilize phonics.
The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure. Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth-grade level."
Phonics has been the preferred method to teach reading since the 17th century, however, since the advent of the 'whole word' approach introduced in the 1980's, which omits crucial steps, literacy has been on the decline in the U.S. with criminality on the upswing.
Thirty-nine percent of educators surveyed claim a connection between struggling students and reading materials being too difficult. A new, fundamental approach from First Step Phonics provides the solution for frustrated would-be readers and teachers.
Forty-eight percent of educators surveyed said their biggest barrier to teaching new readers is holding their interest. With First Step Phonics' full-color illustrations and engaging stories, the new reader is inspired to keep learning.
Teach a child to memorize twenty-six words and that child will be able to read only twenty-six words. Teach a child twenty-six letter sounds and they can sound out hundreds of words.
"When a child can read a book, the impact on their lives is immense," says Veronica Blade, creator of First Step Phonics. "Once they can read, their whole world opens up. They can study other subjects, earn a higher income — the sky's the limit."
Students who are thriving in school get excited about learning. They don't lose interest, drop out of school or turn to crime.
First Step Phonics supplies the vital steps which address the source of new reader's lack of interest and other learning road blocks.
"I began my adult life teaching phonics and, later, wrote novels," says Blade. "I've combined my story-writing skills with my knowledge of phonics to develop essential materials my own students never had but desperately needed."
First Step Phonics has these additional unique qualities that are lacking in other reading programs:
22 workbooks provide ample practice
All 95+ early-reader books present each new step in bite-size pieces
Stories are limited to one or two sentences per page
In most cases, only one new sound is introduced at a time
Advanced words are never used, which gives students the opportunity to absorb each step before moving to the next
First Step Phonics also provides a teaching manual, as well as freebies, such as read-along videos, downloadable worksheets and activities, how-to videos, and other resources.
With homeschooling on the rise, First Step Phonics products are needed now more than ever.
For More Information
Contact: Veronica Blade, Founder
First Step Phonics
P.O. Box 6088,
Gardnerville, NV 89460