Roosevelt High School Faculty Picture (1977)
Jim camping on the Tallulah River, Georgia (2017)
My journey in the field of teaching phonics began 40 years ago when as an inner-city high school English and reading teacher, I was confronted with obviously bright and motivated students who somehow had failed to learn to read successfully in their previous years in school. In 1977 I began operating a reading clinic in a church basement during after-school hours with the conviction that these students were capable of becoming good readers if they could have access to the proper instruction in phonics.
Most phonics programs are written for young children in preschool through the second grade. These programs are not appropriate for students beyond the second grade. The few programs I was able to find back then that had been developed for older students were either inadequate for various educational reasons and/or too expensive for my students to be able to purchase.
I discovered that there exists an entire education industry designed to serve the needs of affluent students who are struggling academically due to poor reading skills. These students are being helped through exposure to systematic, multisensory phonics instruction; however, for many other children as well as most adults with low reading skills, these materials and tutoring services available are often beyond their economic reach. I wondered why so often it seemed that only the affluent were able to access reading programs that worked. I knew that there must be a way to offer research-based, multisensory phonics instruction published in a format that virtually anyone could afford to purchase and that could be implemented without expensive and prolonged training for teachers, parents, and tutors. And so I began to develop the We All Can Read Program.
When I began to develop the We All Can Read Program, I had these specific goals:
- Publish a research-based phonics program suitable not only for young children but most especially for older students and adults as well, a group too-often overlooked and underserved in terms of having access to suitable, age-appropriate, and effective multisensory phonics material.
- Develop a program that anyone could use to teach basic reading skills: teachers, parents and tutors. One does not have to be a reading specialist in order to offer effective and research-based reading instruction to struggling readers.
- Use technology to make it possible for older students and adults without access to a tutor or teacher to be able to teach themselves to read and spell on their own from anywhere – in the privacy of their own homes, at a bus stop, at work.
- Finally and most importantly, I wanted to publish a program that works!
Now 40 years later and after working with thousands of individuals, I know with sure certainty that with the proper phonics instruction, we all can read!
We All Can Read Is a Tool for Changing Lives
The reading material presented in this website is for those who desire to uplevel their own reading skills or for anyone who would like to help another improve his reading and spelling skills. These materials are tools for learners, teachers, parents, mentors, and volunteer reading tutors to use to help change not only the lives of their students but their own lives as well. In the end it is our own self we reach towards in reaching out to another.