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46 Stories of Improving Early Literacy Achievement in Schools

Sprig covers all the latest Pre-K to 3 announcements, projects, practices and stories in its newsletter, Root to Fruit, twice a month. If you are interested in the latest early learning news and updates, definitely join as a reader, so you never miss an edition.

A common feature of the newsletter is covering stories which discuss schools, school districts and school boards continually innovating to raise early literacy achievement for their youngest learners. 

This information is curated fresh twice a month, vetted for relevance in the early education sector, and presented to Root to Fruit readers.

If you are a reader, you are accustomed to these stories. 

To celebrate the upcoming 30th edition of Root to Fruit on Dec 7th (subscribe today if you want to receive the edition on that day), Sprig has accumulated 46 stories from prior editions to demonstrate what can be done to improve early literacy achievement. 

For the benefit of those not subscribed yet, this article is a compilation of all stories on improving early literacy achievement in schools and preschools. It features reading instruction strategies, tactics and action plans that have been considered or instituted by schools and early learning centers.

It is important to note that all of these stories have come from schools or early learning centers, because stories from other stakeholders are also covered in Root to Fruit, which are pertinent to the improvement of early literacy. 

These include teachers from unnamed schools, state legislature, federal and state programs, stage offices, foundations, think tanks, researchers, academic institutions, assessment centers, teacher’s associations, journalists, etc.

But all of the news items in this article have come from identified schools/school boards/school districts and preschools/early learning centers.

The stories are divided into improving early literacy achievement in early learning centers/preschools (Stories 1 to 7) and schools/school districts/ school boards (stories 8 to 46). Where appropriate, certain stories have been lumped together where the recommendation or action taken is the same.

If you want to implement some of the solutions suggested in these stories, please do have a look at Sprig’s homepage, where you can find reading, oral language, math and Indigenous language solutions, depending on your needs. 


Improving Early Literacy Achievement in Early Learning Centers/Preschools (Stories 1 to 7)

Improving Early Literacy Achievement in Early Learning Centers, Preschools


1.The Saint Joseph Early Learning Center: Elongating Early Learning Instruction Time and Expanding Early Learning Options

The Saint Joseph Early Learning Center out of Missouri, USA is a consolidated preschool that has been well-received by the community. Children from multiple preschools were transferred into a single location, where students attend for a half day (either morning or afternoon). 

The school district is exploring a longer school day to take in more students who are turning 3 throughout the year. Location expansion is another option for the future, but currently this is the solution devised to handle the need for additional classrooms.


2. Brooklyn Kindergarten Society: Culturally Responsive High Quality Offerings

With preschool and kindergarten kids back at school, Melisha Jackman, executive director at early-childhood education provider Brooklyn Kindergarten Society talks about three strategic priorities she’s embracing for this school year: 1) be more “culturally responsive to the needs of their children”, 2) focus on “high quality offerings”, and 3) ensure the “ infusion of inquiry, learning and creativity” from teachers to students. 


3. Bright Horizons Program: Proactively Seeking Parental Involvement

Cheretta Triplett-Smith, Director of the Bright Horizons program in Chicago says that parents have a lot more information now when comparing high-quality early education programs. She makes it clear that Bright Horizon takes a whole child approach, which focuses on school readiness by working on cognitive and language skills to communicate, but also the social and emotional skills to work with others. She asks parents to inquire about “teacher training and age-appropriate teaching methods” before enrolling their child to a preschool. 


4. UC San Diego’s Early Childhood Education Center: Foster Play-based and Inquiry-Based Learning


Matthew Proctor is the new director at UC San Diego’s Early Childhood Education Center, which provides child care and education services to all faculty members, staff and students. He talks about how the center curriculum focuses on child discovery where young students initiate learning. The objective is to embed math, language and other subjects naturally into what the children are already interested in playing. His goal is to further expand the program to accommodate more students. 


5. Little Nooks Preschool: House Preschool on Main School Site

Little Nooks Preschool will open in Kalama, Washington. The program will be fully inclusive and housed inside the local elementary school so kids are used to the building when transitioning to kindergarten. Superintendent Eric Nerison states the need for “early childhood development and kindergarten readiness” in Southwest Washington.


6. Rainbow Dreams: Adopt A Specialized Curriculum for Early Childhood Education

Rainbow Dreams in Clark County Nevada is an early learning center that houses only Pre-K and kindergarten classes. The school follows a full day model for both grades. The curriculum is hands-on, play-based, and with a purpose. It promotes age-appropriate rigorous learning. Rainbow Dreams officials believe in a structured education for young children, choosing to specialize in early childhood education. The enrollment was higher than anticipated this year, signaling an unmet need in the market.


7. The DeKalb County School District: Create New Centers in Existing Schools

The DeKalb County School District in Georgia is planning to add six new early learning centers in its existing schools between 2026 and 2030. Currently there are two such centres, which are not nearly enough to cope with the demand for early childhood education in the state’s third largest school district. The project will cost $15 million in total, and it is part of the 2022-2023 tentative budget that will be finalized in June.


Improving Early Literacy Achievement in Schools/School Districts/School Boards (Stories 8-46)

Improving Early Literacy Achievement in Schools, School Districts. School Boards


8. Winnipeg School Division: Set up an Office Dedicated to Educational Equity

Winnipeg School Division’s board of trustees has approved a motion to establish an education equity office by August 2022. It’s one among many examples of primary, secondary and postsecondary institutions taking such an initiative. Along with academic success and personalized learning, education equity also features as a prominent goal for many school districts in North America. It is a critical component of any school’s strategic vision. This is not surprising, given that Generation Z is the most diverse generation to date in North America. 


9. Kinoomaadziwin Education Body: Ensure Smooth Transitions Between Grade Configurations

Ontario and the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body have agreed to a three year $7.9 million agreement to support Anishinabek students in the province. The Master Education agreement includes improving access to culturally relevant resources and supports, supporting transitions between First Nation Schools and provincially funded schools (92% of Anishinabek students attend provincially funded schools), and sharing more data between the two education systems. 


10. Fort Worth School District: Ensure Learning Outside of the Classroom

Preschool and kindergarten students in the Fort Worth School District in Texas visit the museum every other week to learn about science and history. It is part of the Legacy Program, which brings diverse opportunities to students who need them. 


Implement Full-day Kindergarten

11. Boise School District

Boise School District in Idaho has approved free full-day kindergarten in all of its 32 elementary schools. Previously, full-day kindergarten was offered at 20 elementary schools. Superintendent Colby Dennis says that full-day kindergarten improves students’ literacy, math and social skills. It also makes enough time for both instruction and intervention. Governor Brad Little has proposed to devote $47 million for literacy programs in Idaho.


12. The Grande Prairie Public School Division (GPPSD)

The Grande Prairie Public School Division (GPPSD) in Alberta, expanded its pilot full-time kindergarten program from 6 to 13 of its 15 elementary schools in the district. Superintendent James Robinson says that the KinderPAL program has received glowing reviews. The program consists of curricular-focused lessons, but also structured playtime with early learning certified instructors.


13. Louis Riel School Division

Louis Riel School Division is planning to expand full-day kindergarten in south-east Winnipeg in 5 new buildings. It will also spend nearly $1 million dollars on diversity and inclusion initiatives including hiring more Indigenous educators and supporting ongoing reviews of curricula. Also included in the new proposed budget is a reduction of K-3 average class sizes. Smaller classes are a mark of high-quality education.


14. The Twin Falls School District

The Twin Falls School District in Idaho will offer full-day, tuition-free kindergarten at each of its nine elementary schools, beginning in the fall of 2022. Previously, five of its elementary schools had the program. Such an expansion was made possible by the increased state funding, as the state’s annual literacy budget increased from $26.1 million to $72.7 million. Director of Elementary Program, Jennine Peterson, says that less catching up is needed in Grade 1 if more time is allotted in kindergarten to build foundational skills. 


Use Learning Recovery Funds Appropriately

15. Pittsburgh Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ superintendent, Wayne Walters says that “unfinished learning is multi-faceted and it’s not just instructionally-based.” Student achievement data last fall showed that Pittsburgh students in grades 2-7 had only three-quarters of the academic growth in math as they would in a typical year, and two-thirds in math.There is a focus on providing students with grade level work, but also providing remediation to those lacking skills to do this work. Certain schools in the school district had K-2 literacy specialists prior to the pandemic. Other school districts are looking to spend a portion of their ESSER money into providing K-3 literacy support.


16. The West Branch Local School District

The West Branch Local School District in Beloit, Ohio,  used its ESSER funds to introduce intervention initiatives for students who are not meeting grade-level standards. From kindergarten through Grade 5, the interventions use phonics programs which provide a consistent approach for building literacy skills. The small group sessions focus on comprehension, self-correction and fluency. Approximately 35% of grade 3 to grade 5 students have been moved out of this program due to demonstrated improvement.


17. The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB): Rely on More than One Source of Assessments to Track Progress

The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) in Guelph, ON, is requesting a deferral of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) testing in Grade 3 and Grade 6 by a year. Board trustee Mike Foley believes that the results would be skewed right now due to the increased anxiety and stress the students are facing. UGDSB’s Director of Education, Peter Sovran assures that besides the EQAO assessments data, the district also has report card data and teacher assessments data to understand student progress.


18. Somerset School District: Reconfiguring Grades to Foster a Bridge Between Pre-K and Early Elementary

The school district at Somerset, Massachusetts, is considering a reconfiguration of their early grades. Some potential options include pre-K to Grade 2, and Grade 3 to Grade 5. Neighboring school district at Westport had previously maintained a similar configuration, but recently changed again to a pre-K to kindergarten and Grade 1 to 4, configuration. Housing all grade levels in the same building helps to share knowledge and resources among teachers. Westport Superintendent, Thomas Aubin, is evaluating new configuration options again to increase literacy scores of students. 


Personalize Learning via One-on-one Tutoring

19. Toronto District School Board

Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) trustees discuss the need for greater personalization to better serve students. It includes figuring out who needs access to laptops, one-on-one tutoring, interviews with counselors, etc. TDSB is facing a funding shortfall of $60 million. The earlier cutbacks of reading coaches, speech pathologists, and social workers have not fared well at this time, when students need more help than ever.


20. Alexandria City Public Schools

April is school library month in the US, and Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPCS) in Virginia, provides its first grade students with one-on-one reading support twice a week to help strengthen their literacy skills. ACPCS libraries allow students to explore different types of literature, and use technology to get access to different sources of information. Superintendent Gregory Hutchins encourages all families to help their children read at home each day or participate in a literacy program.


21. Springfield Public Schools: Appoint Strategic Positions for Elementary Schools

Springfield Public Schools in Missouri, have announced a slew of leadership changes for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Grenitha Lathan says that “To achieve growth, we must objectively assess our strengths and identify areas for potential improvement”. One high-priority area of focus is Springfield’s elementary schools, where oversight will be shared amongst three leaders. There are new hires in the chief strategy and innovation officer and chief academic officer positions as well.


22. The Foothills School Division: Hire More Personnel to Provide Consistent Interventions

The Foothills School Division in Alberta is on a hiring spree to help students in grade 2 and 3 with their learning recovery.  Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, Caroline Roberts says that they are making use of a grant that was focused on literacy and numeracy in the early years.Teachers and educational assistants have been hired to deliver consistent intervention services. These services will soon be extended to grade 1 as well. In total $673,000 will be spent.


Provide Ample Professional Learning Opportunities

23. Vernon School District

Vernon School District in British Columbia is supporting schools and teachers by providing key resources and professional learning opportunities in literacy research approaches. This year has seen a particular focus placed on the primary years of learning. The district is working with early language and literacy consultant Dr. Donna Kozak, on “systemic literacy practices” and the possibility of “becoming more responsive” to young students in kindergarten and grade 1.


24. The Lethbridge School Division

Beginning in September 2022, Alberta students will learn a new curriculum for K-3 English Language Arts and Literature and K-3 Math. But, there is a cloud of uncertainty over its implementation as the curriculum is not available yet. In a survey, 86% of Alberta Teachers’ Association members disagreed that they had the resources or supports needed to successfully implement the draft curriculum. The Lethbridge School Division Superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Gilmore, says that necessary structures will be put in place to prepare teachers and students before fall.


25. Union County School District: Focus on High Dosage Tutoring

Union County School District in North Carolina had adopted intensive tutoring before it became standard practice for remediating learning for returning students. It invested in technology related professional development which focused on the personalization of instruction and increasing the student’s role in choosing class activities. Superintendent Andrew Houlihan noted that the district’s high-poverty, lowest-performing schools were struggling with math, and implemented small group instruction to remedy it. Having proof of its effectiveness, it was similarly rolled out for students in all schools who had suffered from the learning interruption. 


Facilitate Teacher Collaboration

26. Little Rock School District

The Little Rock School District in Arkansas will close two of its 26 elementary school campuses in the 2022-23 school year. The school board voted to do this in order to generate savings to account for salary increases. Another reason was to maximize student’s academic benefits from larger schools which have multiple teachers per grade level and who collaborate on instruction. Collaborative planning is one of the best practices of effective teaching.


27. Holyoke Public Schools

At least half of the students, at all grade levels, at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts are struggling with reading. The gap in learning is more pronounced in the lower grades, with 60% of Grade 2 students needing urgent intervention. Valerie Annear, the district’s chief instructional officer, said that the dip in literacy in Grade 2 is a national phenomenon. Though disappointed with the data, she urged for more well-rounded educational experience and giving teacher’s more collaboration time.


28. Ripple Rock Elementary: Employ Literacy Intervention Specialists to Focus on Foundational Skill sets

Ripple Rock Elementary in BC is providing individualized tutoring services to kindergarten and Grade 1 students to help with literacy. The program uses literacy intervention specialists who work on phonics, sight word acquisition, fluency, and comprehension with the students in face-to-face, one-on-one tutoring. This early literacy program is part of the efforts to improve literacy, which is one of the goals of the district’s strategic plan. Students are thus far very engaged, and an increase in grade-level reading proficiency is expected.


Focus on Biliteracy

29. The Lower Kuskokwim School District

The Lower Kuskokwim School District in Alaska visited the Grand Prairie Independent School District in Texas to discuss dual language best practices in the early grades. The former is working to preserve the Indigenous language of Yup’ik. The latter’s dual-language program focuses on promoting language skills, and also biliteracy and biculturalism. The program focuses not only on language, but also on culture and identity. By accessing the right content, students are fully immersed in their Indigenous language before proceeding with English.


30. Appoquinimink School District

Students are faring well in the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs in Delaware, which was first introduced 10 years ago. DLI programs offering either Spanish or Mandarin are in 12 of the 15 school districts that operate elementary schools in Delaware. Students usually opt in the program in Kindergarten or Grade 1. The data shows that immersion students are doing as well or better than their counterparts in state assessments, while becoming proficient in two languages.


31. Graciela Garcia Elementary

Graciela Garcia Elementary, in Pharr, Texas, is a dual-language school where 77% of the students are emergent bilinguals. Maureen Ibarra, who teaches fluency and reading comprehension to students from grade 2 to grade 5 says that during the pandemic, many kids lost access to an adult who could help them with their assignments in their second language. There was a gap in learning for returning students. More holistic approaches for English learners are being considered.


Create New Schools and Gradually Add Grade Levels

32. The Loyola School

The Loyola School will be awarded Loyola University Maryland’s 2022 Milch Community Partnership Award for its service to families in Baltimore, Maryland. The school consists of an early learning center and a new elementary school, which plans to add a new grade level each year until 2025. The school seeks to improve socioeconomic disparities that exist in the city, through commitment to early childhood education and holistic development of children.


33. The Festus R-6 School District

The Festus R-6 School District in Missouri will have its own early learning program beginning in August 2023. Property has been bought for the site and the administrators have been selected who will head this project. The decision was made after seeing success in a neighboring school district’s program, the  Dunklin R-5 School District. But with its own program, more preschool-aged kids can enroll and greater academic continuity can be achieved as they transition from preschool to kindergarten.


34. Natomas Unified School District

In California, despite overall declining school enrollment in the state, suburban Sacramento is seeing an increase in enrollment due to more housing being built in the community. Natomas Unified School District in the city, opened a TK-8 school last year to account for the increasing student population. Elk Grove Unified School District, also in Sacramento, will open a new elementary school in the beginning of the next school year.


35. Change Health Charter School: Promote Learning Outside the Classroom

Change Health Charter School in Parkland County, Alberta, has a grand vision for outdoor learning. It wants to teach its kindergarten to Grade 9 students Alberta’s curriculum using the YWCA Camp Yowochas’s facilities, which is a 60 acre, year-round outdoor education centre. What is learned in the classroom in the morning can be experienced first-hand in the afternoon in a cross-curricular delivery model, says Camp Yowochas community manager Felicia Ochs. The school plans to open in September 2023.


36. Los Angeles Unified School District: Reduce Class Sizes

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, half of students are not meeting grade-level goals for reading and math, and the gap between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from well-to-do communities is widening. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has proposed some solutions to reverse the trends. They include expanding the school year, reducing class sizes, increasing the frequency and quality of summer schools, adding professional development systems for teachers and launching new opportunities for early learning.


37. Taylor School District: Focus on Hands-on Differentiated Instruction

In the Taylor School District in Wayne County, Michigan, the kindergarteners and grade 1 students play math games, which they have come to love, receiving positive encouragement as they progress. They are part of the math enrichment program, called High 5s, developed by the University of Michigan. It’s a hands-on, small-group program that has helped close the achievement gap, raising the number of students who performed at grade level by 20 percentage points. The program has also increased kindergartener’s math performance by 15%.


38. School District 8 (SD8): Develop a Long-Term Literacy Plan

School District 8 (SD8) in Kootenay Lake, BC, has developed a three-year district literacy plan to improve literacy proficiency, after data revealed a dip in reading and writing scores among primary learners. The Primary Literacy Coherence model looks at class profile to see what needs to be worked on for each student from kindergarten throughout their primary years. Currently, the focus is on building capacity for Grade 1 and 2 teachers.


39. Waterloo Region District School Board: Ensure there is Professional Development in Utilizing Technology

The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is offering a variety of reading and math support in classrooms, and providing educators with additional professional learning to address any learning gaps. With increased funding from Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action plan, WRDSB has also extended its Summer Learning Program from Kindergarten to Grade 2, to Kindergarten to Grade 6. Associate Director Lila Read says that there has been unprecedented skill development in the utilization of technology.


40. Rhodes School District: Create More Resource Rooms

Rhodes School District in River Grove, IL, will add 8 new classrooms devoted to Kindergarten and Grade 1, as a part of its $14 million expansion. Included in the expansion is a large courtyard featuring two outdoor classroom spaces, breakout rooms for private individual or group instruction, and reading areas. To facilitate student learning, the need for more resource rooms was a common suggestion from teachers


41. The Oxford School District: Engage with the Community

The Oxford School District and the Lafayette County School District in Louisiana, have developed a literacy education program called Lafayette Oxford University Early Learning Collaborative (LOUELC). Last year, the program increased the reading proficiency of pre-K students from 19% to 72%. A big part of the program is a collaborative group of local organizations and community leaders, who work together to focus on targeted efforts to improve reading, both inside and outside the classroom.


Provide Summer Learning Opportunities

42: Greene Elementary School

The North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) recently released information showing that students (on average) fell 2 to 15 months behind their academic pace. NCDPI says that students will need intensive academic intervention to get back on track. West Greene Elementary School Principal, Phil Cook, says that professional development, guiding resources, differentiated instruction and summer learning are all being used to cover the learning gaps.


43. Algoma District School Board 

Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is offering the Elementary Summer Learning Program this year during the summer break. The objective of the program, which focuses on literacy skills in the primary grades, is to provide literacy intervention to those students who really need it, and to minimize the summer learning loss. ADSB has registered 101 in-person attendees and 13 virtual attendees for the program so far.


44. The Fulton City School District: Appoint Early Learning Specialist Positions

The Fulton City School District (FCSD) in New York has created a new Director of Early Childhood position. Kelly Gates, Instructional Coach for pre-K to Grade 2, has been appointed, based on her vast experience in providing direct coaching support to teachers, assisting with their lessons, and  providing feedback and resources. With this appointment, FCSD Superintendent Brian Pulvino hopes to provide educational experiences that are engaging and developmentally appropriate.


45. Steamboat Springs School District: Introduce New Literacy Focused Curriculums

Steamboat Springs School District received a $1.2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Education to hire three full-time literacy coaches, and a literacy consultant who will create measurable goals for the district. Part of this focus on early literacy also includes introducing a new literacy-focused curriculum across the district to implement a more consistent approach to reading instruction.


46. Shelby County Schools: Affect Evidence-based Instructional Changes

Alabama State Department of Education named Shelby County Schools and Cullman City Schools as the only two Alabama Science of Reading Spotlight school districts. This distinction is for their strong commitment to supporting the implementation of the Science of Reading (SoR) for K-3 students, sustaining evidence-based instructional changes and setting high expectations. Local reading specialists were properly backed by the leadership in these two districts to deepen teachers’ SoR knowledge.


Do you enjoy hearing such stories of innovation from schools working to increase literacy rates? There is more from where this came from! This article will be updated in the future. You can always visit the Sprig Blog for the latest Sprig Article, or simply subscribe to our newsletter, Root to Fruit, which provides a blog roundup twice a month. 

How to Help Students with Dyslexia

October was dyslexia awareness month. The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is having its annual conference today, called DyslexiaCon. Usually in the month of October or November, IDA plans its biggest event of the year, bringing together professionals, families, and those affected by dyslexia.

The early literacy community is involved in raising awareness about dyslexia that affects the reading ability of so many children around the world. 

In Canada alone, there are said to be over 750,000 dyslexic students. 

Sprig has previously written on how to build reading proficiency in dyslexic children. The article goes over the symptoms of dyslexia at various stages of early learning. It covers the characteristics of effective intervention, and features advice from reading programs that focus on dyslexia. Additionally, it explains the current state of dyslexia training for teachers. 

It is a must read for anyone interested in implementing reading best practices in the classroom. 

Regardless of the type and degree of training teachers have received on dyslexia, or their current level of knowledge, it’s never too late to create a more supportive learning experience for dyslexic students.

If you want to understand the basics of dyslexia and see proven characteristics of effective reading programs, do read Sprig’s Improving Reading with Dyslexia. 

This article is a follow up to that content, focusing exclusively on how teachers can support students with dyslexia. 


Helping Dyslexic Students- 4 Directives

Helping Dyslexic Students- 4 Directives

To maximize the reading potential for every child, including those with dyslexia, there are 4 things that need to happen.

  • A love for reading must be instilled early on.
  • The right learning environment must be provided.
  • First round of assessments should be done early.
  • Instruction should be direct and systematic at all levels of interventions.

The above four directives are further explored in the rest of the article. 


1. Make Reading Enjoyable

Dr. Cruger is a neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute. He says that typical tutoring may actually be harmful to a dyslexic early reader, especially if the experience is unpleasant.

He goes on to say that if a young student does not like the experience of reading help, the tutoring service will not be effective. 

A dyslexic child has to enjoy the experience of reading. Simply upping the dosage of practice will not help without offering positive reinforcements and encouragement along the way. 

Dr. Cruger recommends that teachers celebrate every small victory and accomplishment in the learning journey of dyslexic students. 


2. Offer Necessary Accommodations

Given dyslexic students need more support than the rest of the class, proper accommodations should be arranged for them so they don’t lose interest in the process of reading. 

Understood is a non-profit organization that offers resources for better understanding and dealing with learning differences such as dyslexia and ADHD. 

Understood’s former Director of Thought Leadership, Amanda Morin, offers tips on how to tweak classroom materials and routine to suit the needs of dyslexic children. 

Educators are asked to use coloured strips or bookmarks to make it easier for striving readers to concentrate on a line of text. They are encouraged to give detailed instructions and read aloud written instructions. 

The idea is to never leave a student in a state of confusion where they are too embarrassed to seek help. 


3. Address the Root Issue With the Early Assessment

The challenge in grasping foundational skills such as decoding is said to be the root problem of dyslexia. 

If this root issue is identified early enough, it is possible to mitigate the effects of dyslexia. It is why many states across the US have mandated dyslexia screening in early learning. Sprig considers the availability of such screenings important enough that it is featured as a question for state profiles in its interactive evidence-based early learning map

In a recent study by Maureen Lovett, Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Services at University of Toronto, learning outcomes for dyslexic kids were almost twice as good when interventions were delivered from Grade 1 to Grade 3. 

Early intervention is important for all children. But as dyslexic children require added support, their case for early intervention is even more acute.


4. Direct and Systematic Instruction at All Levels

As learning to read is an acquired ability, the brain needs a chance to learn about the relationships between sounds and letters. Most intervention methodologies follow a three tier system. 

Tier 1 refers to universal high-quality instruction for the whole classroom. Tier 2 refers to targeted intervention for small groups who need extra support. Tier 3 refers to intensive instruction for individual students. 

This framework applies very well to supporting dyslexic students, when it comes to matching the right instruction at each level. 

At tier 1, they are exposed to the acquisition of grade-level, fundamental skills that every student needs to learn reading, regardless of whether they have dyslexia or not. 

At tier 2 and tier 3, the progress of any dyslexic students is accelerated so they are able to efficiently bridge any learning gaps in order to participate in grade-level reading. 

So at all levels from the ground up, they are always scaffolded with extra support, beginning with inclusive whole classroom instruction with the possibility of in-classroom differentiated instruction. 

Such a direct and systematic approach to instruction ensures that any learning shortcomings are addressed in the beginning so every student can have their weaknesses addressed. 

In future years, greater support is provided so the dyslexic learner has the chance to work on their identified weaknesses while still being on route to reading at grade level, with age-appropriate reading materials. 


How Sprig Helps Dyslexic Readers

How Sprig Helps Dyslexic Readers

Unlike other children, dyslexic early learners often need more explicit instruction, intensive practice and targeted support. 

Sprig Reading: Powered by Joyful Literacy, provides ALL the assistance teachers, tutors and reading specialists need to make this possible.

Educators provide rigorous instruction and support to children with dyslexia by using an evidence-based and intuitive reading platform.

Sprig Helps Dyslexia

The planned scope and sequencing of lessons in Sprig Reading, together with its clear assessment and instructional strategies on foundational reading skill sets, provide a systematic literacy approach to helping all students with dyslexia. 

At the end of the day, dyslexia is very complex and new research on the reading brain continues to be published every quarter. 

But there is converging evidence on the type, frequency and timing of help dyslexic children need to receive. By adopting evidence-based reading strategies, it’s possible to boost the reading levels of dyslexic learners.

7 More Actions Schools Can Take Today to Increase Early Literacy Equity

A couple of weeks ago on the Sprig Blog, 10 actions to increase literacy equity in schools was covered. It’s a highly recommended article for those who want to take action to address the existing literacy equity gap. 

The effort to reduce literacy inequity is a massive undertaking. It’s one that requires multiple actions. The original research conducted to write that piece included more than 10 ideas! Thus, as a part two of the same series, Sprig Learning presents to you, “7 More Actions Schools Can Take Today to Increase Literacy Equity”.

These 7 actions are just as applicable and research-based as those mentioned in the first part of this series. Sprig hopes some of these (if not all), are incorporated into future school improvement plans


Actions to Increase Early Literacy Equity

Comprehensive Instruction for Each Student to Increase Literacy Equity

1. Strengthen Instruction Using What Has Been Proven to Work

For literacy equity to flourish, it’s important that every student has access to  high-quality instruction rooted in evidence-based research.

For example, introducing phonics and phonemic awareness early on is a recommended practice for boosting literacy achievement. The National Reading Panel reviewed 52 studies of phonemic awareness instruction and 38 studies on phonics instruction to find that they produced positive effects on early literacy development, especially when applied in kindergarten and grade 1. 


2. Ensure Professional Development Is Aligned to Evidence-based Reading Instruction

With a push towards structured literacy that places an equal emphasis on both knowledge and practice of reading, it’s important that preservice teachers receive the right training. But as some of the preparatory programs have not revised their syllabus yet, the professional development (PD) offered by schools and school districts must bridge the gap and effectively train all educators. 

When PD sessions address strategic reading instruction that is backed by extant research, educators are in a better position to address literacy inequity. Educators get access to new information which they can use to optimize their existing teaching practice. It’s also an opportunity to review and align the vision of the school to mitigate literacy inequity. 


3. Create a Culture of Literacy by Explaining What is being Taught

To progress towards literacy equity, it’s important to include young learners in discussions of what is working versus what is not. They need to understand all that is being done, and why it is being done, i.e. to provide themselves the best chance to succeed as an early reader, and in life.

The What Works Clearinghouse is an initiative of the Institute of Education Sciences that acts as a trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. It reviewed the literacy achievement literature to find 10 studies showing significant association between motivating and engaging instruction and the improvement of students’ reading comprehension. 

It was recommended that the purpose of each lesson be explained, as well as the utility of various comprehension strategies. Students felt more confident knowing that what they were learning would help them to read. 


4. Improve Kindergarten Readiness using Data and Outreach

In an article published by the  National Conference of State Legislatures, it says that prekindergarten standards should align to each state’s K-12 standards. In this way, kindergarten readiness is improved, which is a major factor in determining early literacy equity. Sprig created an evidence-based early Literacy resource map for the US, where one of the questions answered for each state is if the state connects birth to age 5 data with K-3 education. 

To address literacy inequity at its root, kindergarten readiness must improve. Where applicable, schools and the community as a whole can offer a helping hand to parents with either knowledge or learning resources. This can increase parental involvement, which is a big indicator of early reading success. 


5. Use Appropriate Differentiated Instruction Measures

In a report by Northwestern Evaluation Association on data-powered strategies for literacy development, the use of data to differentiate learning is highlighted throughout the main points. Sprig has written at length about the virtues of differentiated instruction (from the teacher’s point of view) and personalized learning (from the student’s point of view).

Among many of the positive qualities of differentiated instruction, its ability to mitigate literacy inequity is very potent. Having data of each student makes a world of difference in tailoring instruction according to each student’s needs and abilities. Teachers are able to optimize instructional groups and lesson plans for their classrooms.


6. Provide Developmentally Appropriate Assessments

All early literacy researchers recommend the use of age relevant or developmentally appropriate assessments. Assessments provide valuable data that can be used to identify students who need extra support, and also inform instruction. 

It increases all around accountability in the school when there are enough detailed formative assessments. In order to increase literacy equity, there needs to be a working system that monitors the progress of every student. For different terms at each grade level, there should be a baseline expectation of where each student is on all of their foundational reading skills.   


7. Develop an Effective Intervention Strategy

Interventions should be applied early and as often as necessary to ensure young learners understand the concepts that are required of them to become a strong reader. Thus, early interventions must be modified to suit the specific skills and knowledge that is appropriate for each student. 

Applying an intervention strategy requires careful deliberation over the needs of both teachers and students, and the capabilities of the school itself.  It’s not as easy as picking an intervention program and expecting greater literacy equity, regardless of the current circumstances. But after a proper needs assessment is conducted, a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention strategy is one of the best ways to narrow the literacy gap. 


Comprehensive Instruction for Each Student to Increase Literacy Equity

Comprehensive Instruction for Each Student to Increase Literacy Equity

There is an increase in the discussion regarding what is the right approach to early literacy, analyzing both a structured approach and a balanced approach. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s ultimately the reading results that determines the efficiency of an approach. 

So it’s crucial to not leave any stones unturned when checking if a certain addition to instruction would have made a difference in early literacy achievement. In this regard, it’s good to be as comprehensive as possible when planning instruction. 

Kymyona Burk, a senior policy fellow at ExcelinEd and former elementary school language teacher, says that the focus should be on language acquisition and comprehension in the early years, where the teachers “explicitly and systematically teach their students how to decode”. Alongside phonics and word recognition, she also vouches for sentence structure and vocabulary. 

When reading instruction covers all the bases that are recommended by research, the likelihood of a student achieving reading mastery increases, regardless of their current situation. When actions like those recommended in this article and the prior article of the series are taken, it greatly benefits every early learner.

10 Actions Schools Can Take Today to Increase Early Literacy Equity

In a recent survey conducted by Pearson of nearly 3,000 primary teachers, the top 3 challenges faced by students in 2021 were said to be: the widening of the disadvantage gap, focused intervention for individual students, and identifying gaps in learning.

Every school needs a plan to help all students achieve their full potential in the early years. Or students run the risk of not meeting literacy expectations throughout their schooling, which has been the case both before and after the pandemic. 

Sprig has previously written on components of high-performing school improvement plans, focusing on particular case studies. It has also gleaned findings from over 30 case studies to provide guidance on improving early learning student achievement.

Those articles are strongly recommended for those who want to get a fuller understanding of how to raise early literacy scores. 

Creating the right plan and formulating the right strategy are important, but sometimes it helps to review ready-made actionable recommendations to help those students who are in dire need.

What are some things schools can do today to boost reading proficiency scores and accelerate both learning gains and learning recovery? These 10 actions can be implemented by any school to increase literacy equity. 


10 Actions That Promote Literacy Equity

10 Actions To Promote Literacy Equity

1. Develop and Communicate Goals Around Early Literacy

There are many examples of school districts establishing specific literacy goals for students by the end of Grade 3. It helps to have such goals in place, which sets forth the vision of what is to be achieved. Top-down accountability considers the academic wellbeing of every student. 

For example, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark County School District Superintendent, Jesus Jara, has a goal of increasing Grade 3 reading scores by 7 percentage points


2. Identify a Reading Curriculum That Is Suited to Achieving Your Goals

Identifying the right reading curriculum (or program) that aligns to the research and evidence around the Science of Reading is essential for early literacy success. This must also align to the school’s vision, philosophy and learning objectives for early literacy success.

An evidence-based reading curriculum is so important because it helps in both horizontal and vertical planning. Teachers must plan for the school year. They must also know what the learning expectations are for students at both the beginning and end of the school year. In this way, the early learning journey of every young student is accounted for. 


3. Adopt a Early Literacy Screen to Identify Student Needs

Every state and province across North America has Grade 3 or Grade 4 standardized assessment. But there are 12 states in the US that don’t have mandated kindergarten entrance assessments. In Canada, there are no mandated kindergarten entrance assessments as of now.  

If student performance will be measured at Grade 3, it also makes sense to measure a baseline. It does not necessarily have to be standardized, but can be adopted and customized by individual schools to understand how to best help each student. Sprig Language, for example, offers such an initial assessment screen that uncovers each student’s strengths, needs and interests in regards to oral language.

4. Scaffold Individual Grade 2 Learners to Proficiency

By Grade 2, emerging readers should have acquired phonological awareness and phonics skills that will enable them to stay at grade level. But at times when there has been so much disruption to learning, there are many students who still struggle with these skills, for whom scaffolding may be required. 

Given that the Pre-K to 3 period is so crucial, assumptions of proficiency must not be made. It’s important to have regular formative assessments that monitor the growth of every student’s ability to read. 


5. Adopt a School-Wide Literacy Plan

Literacy skills do not have to be restricted to language classes. Reading skills can be included in other subjects as well, such as math and science. Administrators can provide guidance to all teachers in figuring out how to incorporate certain evidence-based literacy skills into their lesson plans.

In Cedar Valley Community School in Washington, literacy intervention specialist Kim Copeland, has expanded the school’s literacy program where students can practice the literacy skills they need throughout the day, and in general education classrooms. 

6. Set High Standards 

In order to achieve literacy equity, expectations should be realistic. But they should also be ambitious to realize the highest latent potential for success for every child. 

The Leave No Child Behind report from UNESCO, says that principals in schools where the students succeed have a can-do attitude. In all the most improved schools cirted in the report, high expectations are set, where a consistent, coherent and focused literacy program is applied.

7. Identify Struggling Readers as Early as Possible

Time is of the essence in early literacy success. Whether it’s finding out if someone has dyslexia, or finding out if certain circumstances are preventing a student from gaining an optimum learning experience, such information needs to be known early on, so the right countermeasures can be taken. 

Not every state in the US has mandated dyslexia screening. But that does not mean an individual school cannot offer this screening service to its students. Early literacy intervention is a point that cannot be stressed enough. 


8. Establish a Multi-tiered System of Support

A multi-tiered system of support is a framework that aims to improve learning outcomes for all students, depending on the type of support required. A school should have a common shared language to identify students according to their level of needs.

The highest-quality evidence-based instruction should be provided to the whole classroom. But for those students who need extra support via small group instruction, such help should be made available to them.


9. Hire Positions Specializing in Literacy

It’s important to provide primary teachers the help they need to teach early literacy to all students. Literacy coaches, reading specialists, literacy interventionists, and literacy coordinators make a big difference in the quality of the early learning experience. The efficiency of such positions have been repeatedly proven. 

Fulton County Schools adopted the Every Child Reads Plan in 2021, which includes placing designated reading coaches and paraprofessionals in every elementary school in the district. 

10. Establish Collective Ownership of Literacy Goals

When hiring new positions and fostering a culture of early literacy success, it is important to obtain buy-in from all teachers, staff and administrators. 

Rollie O. Jones, principal at Kellman Corporate Community School in Chicago, says “we have a cross-section of teachers, some young, some seasoned, some in-between, but they all must buy into our vision. I look for teachers who will make that commitment to a coordinated curriculum and become part of our family here in the school.”


Programs VS Practices in Early Literacy Equity

Programs VS Practices in Early Literacy Equity

Efforts to find the best early literacy programs usually revolve around the teaching resources used by educators. There are so many resources available and new ones are being created every school year. The findings of the effectiveness of all such programs have been discrepant. 

Rather, studies that focus on best practices have yielded more consistent results over the years. It is difficult to determine one best program that is superior to all others for achieving literacy equity.  But it is possible to determine best practices based on evidence that shows robust relationships between particular practices and high literacy achievement. 

This article showcased 10 such practices, at both a teacher and administrator level, which when applied can lead to successful outcomes for all students. 

Sprig Reading, Sprig Learning’s newest early learning platform, is an interactive tool for evidence-based instruction. It promotes teaching, assessment and differentiation best practices in early reading, so teachers have a way to teach the foundational skills and concepts, and track the progression of students. 

Evidence-Based and Cost-Effective Reading Intervention

When making decisions on education investments, both cost and efficiency must be taken into account. Both factor into the academic ROI, where the idea is to maximize student achievement for a certain sum spent. 

There are many studies that explore the impact of educational tools, but the cost-effectiveness of these tools is often overlooked

Costs include the price tag of such tools, but also the cost of the resources that are required for their successful implementation. 

With the launch of Sprig Reading for the upcoming school year, it is a great time to discuss cost-effectiveness in raising reading achievement. Sprig Reading is meant to be an evidence-based, affordable solution for educators to improve the literacy scores of their students. 


Reading Intervention Can be Very Expensive

Reading Intervention Can Be Expensive

In a cost-effectiveness analysis of 7 early literacy programs that have been effective at improving reading outcomes for K-3 students, the cost per student was associated with the grade level and students’ reading struggles. 

For students at higher grade levels (e.g., Grade 3) and those that are really struggling (e.g., bottom 25th percentile), program costs were as much as $10,108 per student (or over $200,000 for a typical classroom of 20 students)!

For students in Grade 1 who were scoring in the bottom 20th percentile, the cost per student was $4,144. For kindergarten students, who were scoring well below average in the bottom 20th-30th percentile, the costs were $791 per student.

For students in Grade 1 scoring slightly below average, the cost per student was $282. Despite being at a higher grade than kindergarten, the cost implications were lower because of the focus on students who were struggling, but closer to the 50th percentile. 

Besides grade level and reading struggles, program duration also heavily influenced the pricing per student. The shortest intervention studied, at 5 weeks, was $479 per student, whereas a 28-week program ranged from $6,696 to $10,108. 

Besides the three levers (grade level, student scores, and program duration) that control costs, a major takeaway from the cost-effectiveness analysis study is the hefty price that is to be paid for each struggling reader.

At a time when students are recovering from missed learning opportunities due to the pandemic, it is not uncommon to see more than half of the class miss the mark for reading proficiency. 

For example, in a class of 20 students, this means 10 students will require some level of reading intervention.

In kindergarten, considering the lower cost per student from the two sample cases in the study ($479), the costs amount to approximately $5,000 per classroom. 

In grade 3, considering the lower cost per student from the two sample cases in the study ($6,696), the costs amount to approximately $65,000 per classroom.

Whichever way we look at it, reading intervention is a costly measure. 

Reading Intervention Cost Comparison

Early Reading Intervention Program VS Sprig Reading


  1. Based on the following research studies: 




  1. # of students needing intervention = # of students x % not reaching reading proficiency  

3. Note that these costs are averages and costs differ based on the reading intervention needs of each student.  Based on the following research studies:



  1. Note that total costs assume there is a budget to support every student that requires reading intervention. In actuality, most school budgets will not cover every single student’s needs at each grade level. Total Costs = # of students requiring intervention x Average cost per student

5. Total Costs Per Grade = # of students requiring intervention x Average cost per student

As the table above shows, proven and successful early reading intervention programs can be very costly.  For a typical school, costs can quickly add up to more than $275,000 for a year to support all students in need of early reading interventions.  Now given this high price tag for a school (and school division), often difficult decisions are required to determine which students will receive the reading intervention support due to the lack of funds.

The table above further outlines the costs of Sprig Reading, an evidence-based early reading tool that supports teachers to assess, monitor, plan and instruct on the foundational reading skills. This program has repeatedly proven to bring over 90% of students to reading at grade-level.

In a typical school, the above table shows that when using an inclusive program like Sprig Reading, as early as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, school costs can be drastically reduced as fewer students require more expensive reading intervention programs in grade 3 and beyond.  

Sprig Reading is now available for purchase or a free trial on our website. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and choose the option that best suits you.


Reading Intervention Can Be Exclusive

Reading Intervention can be Exclusive

Given the high costs of reading intervention programs, it cannot be guaranteed that every student who requires help will receive it.  

Further, if students are not identified in kindergarten, latent gaps in foundational reading skills generally appear at the higher grade levels. 

Not to mention, it is more costly to intervene at the higher grade levels, as seen in the last section.  

Rather, if schools adopt a structured literacy inspired or evidence-based approach for the whole classroom, the likelihood of students requiring intervention decreases. 

Maria Murray, president of The Reading League, a nonprofit, literacy organization out of New York, says that the gap in reading can be closed with “transformative change in the classroom—not just heaping on more programs”. 

She goes on to say “Too often, it’s just an additive model with little to no attention to core classroom instruction and the knowledge that the teachers possess”.

Thus, in order to improve the methods of teaching reading to raise literacy scores, more attention needs to be paid in strengthening the curriculum and increasing the knowledge of educators.

In other words, early literacy efforts have to be widespread and inclusive. The preparation should be such that every student is ready to be helped with research-backed practices and teacher knowledge that minimizes the need for later intervention. 


Addressing the Root of the Issue of Reading Interventions

Addressing the Root of the Issue of Reading Interventions

There have been studies showing the efficiency of reading intervention programs in raising alphabetics and text reading fluency scores, albeit at a very high cost per unit increase in the effect size.


Two questions arise. 

  1. Are intervention solutions reaching all students and are the gains being sustained? The reading achievement per grade level is still very low across North America. This suggests that there is room for improvement in both whole classroom coverage and skills retainment.


  1. Is this sustainable? Given how expensive reading intervention programs are per student, can they be sustained given the pressures from other academic needs such as after school tutoring, new teaching staff hires, and summer learning.


If the desired achievement results are not attained, it makes sense to try new evidence-based approaches that have the potential to reduce costs. For example, Stacy Pim, an elementary reading specialist in Virginia, noticed that the skills of Grade 1 students were not improving, and by Grade 2 most of them were reading below grade level. She took it upon herself to use more of her instruction time to teach students phonics-based components such as letter-sound correspondence.  Only a year and half later, Virginia enacted a law mandating evidence-based literacy training and instruction. 

EducationWeek reported that the most popular reading programs did in fact diverge from evidence-based practices in teaching struggling readers. Phonics is included as a component, but not in the systematic manner that is recommended by the Science of Reading. It is often challenging for teachers to organize classroom lessons in the correct sequence in such programs. 


Reading Intervention Is Still Needed. 

Reading Intervention is Still Needed

There will always be some students who require extra intensive support that can only be delivered using a pull-out method and with the help of early literacy specialists. 

But Early and Only When Required.

Research says that 80% of students should be able to read in any environment or with explicit and direct high-quality tier 1 instruction, meant for the whole classroom. 

An additional 15% of students can be moved to tier 1 with additional attention and support. This may mean actual reading intervention programs, or in-class differentiated small group instruction.

But it’s safe to say that no more than 20% of students should require reading intervention when early evidence-based approaches to early reading are implemented in kindergarten.

By focusing on early literacy tools that supplement or strengthen the foundational reading skills, it’s possible to greatly reduce the number of students requiring additional intervention programs later on. 

This reduces expenditures for the school and school districts while simultaneously ensuring every student is on a track to achieve reading success grounded in strong foundational reading skills. 

In the truest sense of the definition, it improves academic ROI!



<a href=”https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/read” title=”read icons”>Read icons created by Freepik – Flaticon</a>

Improving Reading With Dyslexia in Early Literacy

Science of Reading-based literacy programs often focus on phonics and phonological awareness. They are two major factors that, when mastered, lead to reading success.

Students with dyslexia specifically struggle with these two things. They have difficulty learning how sounds relate to alphabets, and how words are composed of different sounds.

Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to process language. 

With the push towards evidence-based early literacy approaches and reforms in reading instruction, helping dyslexic early learners has become a major topic in conversations surrounding literacy equity. 

Dyslexia, and other related co-occurring learning disorders like ADHD, can put affected students at a disadvantage. In a diverse classroom, the needs of such students can be overlooked, unless we pledge to take the necessary steps to provide the support they need.

In this article, Sprig covers the basics of dyslexia, and offers tips to improve reading with dyslexia in the early years of education. 

Although dyslexia is non-curable, when properly managed, it’s possible for many dyslexic students to be proficient in reading!


 How Common is Dyslexia? 

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity estimates that dyslexia affects 20% of the population and represents 80-90% of all those who have some sort of learning disability.  

Thus, it is very common, and is the leading cause of reading difficulty for those who are struggling to read.

The International Dyslexia Association also confirms dyslexia’s wide prevalence, stating that 15-20% of the population are affected by it. 

Hence, dyslexia is a challenging reality of early literacy that needs to be addressed. 

To begin tackling the reality of dyslexia, it’s good to be aware of the diagnosis process. 


Who Does Dyslexia Affect Most?

Who Does Dyslexia Affect Most

There is not enough evidence to state that any one specific age group or gender is more affected by dyslexia. There is evidence to suggest however, that children with dyslexic parents have a greater risk of developing dyslexia.

Dyslexia starts affecting the child as soon as symptoms emerge, and if these signs are not dealt with, their likelihood of reading success dwindles with every school year.

For example, here are some guideposts for symptoms of dyslexia.

15 months: First word not uttered yet.

24 months: First phrase not uttered yet.

Before age 5: Not recognizing alphabets and common rhyming patterns, mispronouncing familiar words and difficulty learning words.

Age 5 to 6: Having problems speaking and pronouncing words, not associating letters with sounds, making reading errors not related to any sounds of letters in the sentence, expressing how difficult reading is and not wanting to go to school. 


Thus, it makes sense that, rather than just spending effort in the correct diagnosis of dyslexia, it’s better to create a system that monitors all signs of symptoms at every early grade, starting from pre-K if possible. 

Such an inclusive approach treats every early learner with a safety net. Regardless if the student is actually dyslexic or not, corrective measures can be taken by teachers at the earliest onset of symptoms. 

It begins with how familiar the teachers are about dyslexia’s impact in early literacy. 


Are Teachers Trained to Recognize Dyslexia?

Are Teachers Trained to Recognize Dyslexia

Many states are enacting legislation that requires dyslexia training for teachers. 

In a study of over 500 teachers from one such Midwestern state, it was found that teachers held both scientific conceptions as well as misconceptions about the concept of dyslexia. 

For example, 94% of teachers correctly agreed that students with dyslexia have difficulty reading and spelling words. But 81% also incorrectly agreed that seeing letters and words backwards was a characteristic of dyslexia. 

It was found that the reported amount of previous training on dyslexia significantly predicted the teacher’s dyslexia knowledge scores. 

That’s why it is so important to include units in teacher professional development that cover dyslexia. 

With the right knowledge, teachers will have a strong understanding of dyslexic symptoms, be able to better assess it, and apply the correct interventions. 


Best Intervention for Dyslexia

Best Intervention for Dyslexia

Research confirms that the assessment and intervention approach works well for identifying and helping children who are failing to learn to read at an expected rate. 

Programs which consist of training in letter-sound knowledge, segmenting and blending, and reading from texts, tend to be better than programs which only focus on oral language skills. 

Researchers have studied the components of evidence-based interventions for literacy difficulties to recommend that interventions be:




Incorporate Direct Teaching 

Involve frequent revision


All of these program traits are a part of Science of Reading-based early literacy programs. 


Advice From Dyslexia Reading Programs

  • Keep it Straightforward

Single step directions that are easy to follow are best for instructing students who are challenged with dyslexia. It’s why explicit instruction is such a main feature of Science of Reading-based reading approaches. 

  • Keep it Interactive

Providing multiple opportunities for participation is important for engaging students and ensuring they are regularly interacting with teachers and classmates. 

Because early reading struggles can be so discouraging, avoiding interactions all together is a common go-to move for early learners, which has to be avoided if the goal of reading proficiency by Grade 3 is to be achieved.

  • Keep it Transparent

In order to bring forth true literacy equity, the learning journey of every child needs to be accounted for.  Programs should facilitate the tracking of phonemic awareness milestones and see if early learners are truly able to read without the help of any visual aid. 


Build Reading Proficiency in Every Dyslexic Learner

Build Reading Proficiency in Every Dyslexic Learner

To date, there is no permanent cure for dyslexia. But by intervening early and sustaining high-quality early literacy instruction, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms. 

When help is available for dyslexic students, they are more likely to succeed as readers. It’s why making the right support available in the early grades is so important for reading success.

Rather than waiting for a diagnosis, which can be difficult because there isn’t an official test for dyslexia, it’s better to take timely action by observing symptoms.

When teachers have the right background knowledge in dyslexia, and have the tools to provide evidence-based literacy instruction, dyslexic students can benefit from the rigorous and repeated instruction they require, to overcome their initial learning challenges.

Achieving over 90% grade-level reading achievement will mean that a large number of dyslexic students will learn how to read. 

Sprig Reading promises to help teachers teach, assess and differentiate learning for students with dyslexia. Find out more information by joining the waitlist. Be the first in line to get details on the launch event.