Words of a 4-Year-Old From-the-Field in Colorado Springs
A gift from Rotarian Robby Dale Nelson of Rampart Range Rotary Club of Colorado Springs provided Souns literacy materials to the two GET SET classrooms of preschool children from economically challenged communities in the city of Colorado Springs, CO, USA. Teachers and community volunteers were trained in the implementation of the Souns program – a 2.5 hour session one morning in August. The materials were received for the start of school mid-September 2012.
Included are reflections and images from a follow-up visit and training – again, 2.5 hours – in January 2013. There will be a third visit at the conclusion of the year. The results of the Souns program never cease to astound us. Faces glow as teachers share their successes, confirming their children are really learning to read. The children take to Souns like air to their lungs, filling up with an understanding of the endless bits of print in the world around them, inaccessible at their age without letter-sound associations. Then the fun begins.
“Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process” -Euripides (Thank you, Mo!) Mo Weinhardt
RD 5470 Governor Carla and Rotarian Robby Dale are pictured with teachers and volunteers.
The following are reflections from the teachers and assistant.
From the assistant: Souns is such an amazing tool to put in the hands of these precious 4 year olds. Their intellect grows exponentially as their confidence and joy blossom into life with learning. The light that beams from their eager eyes is an incredible gift to behold. This reading and learning program [Souns] starts them off on a fulfilling life of learning, ready to make their own history.
Teacher one: The children have grasped letter-sounds much more quickly this year through the Souns program. Their retention of the letter-sound associations is better, too. They love learning their sounds, never wanting to miss an opportunity to work with the beautiful pleasing letters of Souns. Being able to hold each letter somehow makes it “theirs” – they have an ownership, a relationship with the letters.
Teacher two: The children came back after Christmas excited to be back at school. We were expecting the kids to have lost some of the knowledge of letter sounds. But we were surprised to see how much the children remembered and how quickly they were learning new sounds. Now we have several children excited about putting letters together to build words. It is so encouraging to see the children’s progress in learning to read. When working in small groups, the kids not included exclaim, “Do I get to do it?”
See what a 4-year-old can do if he learns letter-sounds through play and exploration. Thank you, Rotary!