Local Event Takes A Closer Look At Why Kids Can't Read

Local Event Takes A Closer Look At Why Kids Can't Read

7:06am Dec 09, 2019
KERI BROWN/WFDD

A national reporter who studies literacy is coming to Winston-Salem to share her research. In Forsyth County alone, 48 percent of children are not reading proficiently.

There’s been a lot of debate over what’s the best method to teach early readers. For decades across the country, teachers have used what’s called three-cueing, a guessing approach that pairs words with other contextual clues, like pictures.

But American Public Media reporter Emily Hanford says new research shows there’s a better way. It builds off of phonics, teaching kids to decode words so they understand how speech sounds are represented by letters. The goal is to keep their eyes on the words. Language comprehension is the other essential element.

Hanford says struggling readers come from many different backgrounds, but for students in poverty, the obstacles are even greater.

“If they are taught how to decode words, if they know how to read the words, they’ve just been given their greatest gift to catch up with kids who are not from poor families," she says. "So if we teach kids how to read words, that’s one of the best ways we can prevent the achievement gap.”

Hanford will speak at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem Thursday, December 12, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. The event, called “Why Millions of Kids Can’t Read,” is sponsored by the nonprofit Read-Write-Spell or READWS.

Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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