Feedback from Students, Teachers, Administrators and Parents
“I am very pleased with my subscription to We All Can Read. I find all of the lessons and resources extremely helpful in working with the many students I support. Thank you for making this great resource available online.”
Elementary English Language Arts Department
Forest Manor Professional Development Center
Indianapolis Public Schools
Sulaiman and teacher Christie live in Freeport, Sierra Leone, Africa. They work through a lesson in the We All Can Read Online Program.
“I work in a resource center in Freetown, Transformation Education, run by a Christian missionary. I discovered Jim Williams’ phonics program for adults while searching online for a way to help Sul learn to read. (His education was interrupted by the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone – he was only 14 when it started and spent years hiding out in the jungle.) When I came across it, I saw the clarity with which Jim teaches, and his obvious dedication to teaching adults who have missed the important phonics component.
It is exciting to me that with an Internet connection, and programs such as Jim’s, becoming educated is a possibility opened up to people all over the world who would have had no chance at one otherwise. Thanks for doing such great work.”
Ms. Pam Alexander, Special Education Teacher (right center), and Mrs. Annette Johnson, Assistant to Ms. Alexander (left center), along with their students at Edgewood Middle School
Dear Mr. Williams,
I am surprised at how well some of my students are doing! This week I am reviewing single vowel sounds with three students who are my lowest level readers. The other nine are reviewing beginning consonant sounds. I do not want to go further until I know they can read these fluently. Fluency is the problem with most of them. They decode well but too slowly.
This week I changed “the rules’ to accommodate the review. I am having them read nonsense and real words over and over until they no longer have to think about how the words sound.
My students seem to enjoy the program. They are especially proud when they spell nonsense words and sentences correctly. I bought small white boards for each of them. They do not use the boards for any other purpose than writing their words and sentences, so it seems like a treat to them. They all want to read the nonsense words! They feel they have accomplished something when they read them correctly!
I have shown many of the parents what we are doing and they are very excited. Several parents have told me their child is reading more at home. Hopefully, it is because they now know how to decode more words and are less fearful of reading.
The following is the result of post testing. I have two groups. One was reviewing short vowels. The other group was reviewing beginning consonant blends.
1st Mastery Check 2nd Mastery Check
0% 67% (She reads at the kindergarten to first grade level. We CAN tell a difference!)
Beginning Consonant Blends
1st Mastery Check 2nd Mastery Check
There were 4 others who mastered the test the first time. Their scores were 87%(1) and 93%(3). They all scored 100% the second time. Review works!!! Two of these students in my lower reading group have greatly improved their reading ability and are reading more in science and social studies.
Pam Alexander/Special Education Teacher/Edgewood Middle School / Greenwood County School District 52/Ninety Six, SC
My name is Dan Vonk, and I used We All Can Read in my remedial reading classes for many years. I have sung your praises to many groups over the years including the RVI Internship group (support services for special needs kids in Career/Tech classes) I worked with this past year while attaining my RVI endorsement. I was recently placed on a Whole Faculty Study Group in which we are investigating ways to improve reading comprehension among Special Education students. Of course, this put me back on my reading soapbox, and I again spoke of your program, which I’ve had so much success with in the past. I was hoping that you could send any info packet that you might have so that I might present it to my group for consideration. Thank you so much. I’ve seen many children dramatically improve their reading skills with your excellent program.
Dan Vonk/RVI Coordinator/Camden County High School/
300 Laurel Island Parkway/P.O. Box 1450/Kingsland, GA 31548
The following report was written by Mrs. Victoria Norman who teaches reading and spelling to inmates at Western Youth Institution, a State of North Carolina Juvenile Youth Facility, in Morganton, NC. Western Youth Institution has an inmate capacity of over 800 individuals and operates the largest school in the North Carolina Prison System. Mrs. Norman previously taught seven years in public schools and five years in private schools. She has received the Orton-Gillingham training for dyslexic readers and has directed a reading program at a local high school. Her current employment assignment at Western Youth Institution is to teach reading and spelling to inmates between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two who function below a 3.5 grade level.
1. What type of reading program do you use and how does it work?
Currently, we are using two reading programs. For the functionally illiterate students (reading below a 3.5 grade level), we use the WE ALL CAN READ program published by Winding River Books. There is a student text, student reader, flash cards, game and a supporting video program to assist the teacher who does not have a foundational knowledge. It also provides repetition for the beginning reader.
2. What professional development is required? What, if any, is provided by the publishing company? For the WE ALL CAN READ program a video series accompanies the program. A teacher can view the video and practice for each lesson and/or view it with the students, too. The unique thing about this program is that a student can work with or without the teacher once the basic concept has been introduced in the lesson. A student can repeat a video lesson as many times as is needed until the concept becomes automatic. In other words, re-teaching does not take the teacher’s time.
3. How does the reading program develop proficiency? What are some of the outcomes? Once students complete the program with 80% accuracy or higher they are moved into the Title I Reading Class where they are given follow-up instruction that builds comprehension, grammar and writing. Some student outcomes are very remarkable. Many of the students who struggled to read one-syllable words leave the program able to attack and decode multi-syllabic words.
4. How does it support effective reading instruction? Is it presented in a pull-out program or delivered school-wide? Who delivers the instruction?
Reading begins at a very basic level of phonemic awareness in the alphabetic approach. You may want to read the current research that Dr. Bennett and Sally Shaywitz (Yale University: Yale Center) have recently published about non-impaired readers and impaired readers (LD) and how their brain functions during the reading process. The missing link for most disabled readers is in the phonemes and orthographic patterns. These must be explicitly taught with an intense and scientific approach. The WE ALL CAN READ program meets this criterion.
I currently use this program with a pre-targeted group of students. In fact, it is required that they complete the program before they are allowed to take any other GED classes, however, they are permitted to take vocational classes. It would be appropriate for a student to be pulled out into a small group for instruction.
A willing regular ed. teacher (preferably one who believes in the alphabetic concept of teaching reading and realizes that the basis of language acquisition begins with a knowledge of phonemes) should teach the program.
5. How effective is it? What has been the response from students, teachers, parents and community?
I believe this program to be very effective. Students learn the basic building blocks of language acquisition and reading. Too often teachers find it impossible to meet the needs of the poor reader without a specified and intense form of instruction. Most teachers are relieved to not have to instruct the very poor reader in a class with advanced students.
Students are usually ecstatic that they not only read multi-syllabic words but can spell them, too. A student commented to me shortly after he began the class: “Mrs. Norman, if someone had taught me this [reading and spelling SIC] when I was out in the real world, I wouldn’t even be here.” One student wrote home and asked his mother if she thought his spelling had improved since he started school. He said, “Mom said my letters home are easier to read than they used to be.”
6. What is the cost of the program? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get a price list.
7. Other comments/information.
In the past, as a public school teacher I always encountered students that were persistently poor readers and nothing I did actually helped them do any better than when they arrived in my class on the first day. If I worked with them, it was time-consuming and I was not equipped with a program that was effective. After attending an Orton-Gilligham training to learn how to teach reading disabled and dyslexic students, I finally understood why I could not reach this group of students. The training I received helped me to tutor students in a one-on-one basis. The WE ALL CAN READ program allows me to teach groups of students with similar abilities in the same classroom. The videos allow me to re-teach but does not take time away from other students. I highly recommend that you investigate this program as a possible program to teach students at the lowest level of reading.
Victoria Norman/Employer:Western Piedmont College
Continuing Ed./East Campus/Morganton, NC
Western Youth Institute Education Dept./Morganton, NC
Dear Mr. Williams,
We are really enjoying your program. I am currently working with adult students that speak English as a Second Language (ESL). I was so impressed with the success my students are having with We All Can Read. I know the importance of mastering letter sounds to be able to spell words correctly.
My students had trouble sounding out words because they were not sure what sounds the letters made. I began to panic. I realized the “whole word approach” was not working for them. Once I started using We All Can Read, I could tell a difference in them within two weeks. I was talking to another co-worker, and I spelled out a word and (student) said, “I know what you spelled. I sounded it out.” I knew then this was the program for my class.
I want to thank you for developing a wonderful program.
Letter from an Instructor / Georgia Prison System