Promising data comes out of a Head Start Center piloting the Souns program. The center is part of the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council (SWGACAC) Head Start Program overseeing 18 counties.
This is the second year the Lester Street center has implemented Souns – thanks to the Rotary Club of Thomasville. Recently, the rising kindergarten students had a mid-year (January 2013) evaluation of letter-sound knowledge learned through the Souns program. The following graph compares end-of-year (2011/12 – N=60) results with the mid-year (2012/13 – N=38) results showing percentages of students demonstrating letter-sound knowledge in SounsⓇ sequence. The graph confirms a story of learning for everyone .
It will be quite interesting to visit Lester Street again in May to get end-of-year data for 2012/13. The teachers and administration have been so loyal to this program. It is clear everyone is more comfortable with Souns this year. Good practice is building. As familiarity with this deceptively simple program develops, the results will compound until children are able to sound out phonetic words prior to entering kindergarden. That is a very attainable goal for typically developing children using Souns as designed.
It is also helpful to see certain similarities in the two evaluations, especially which letter-sound associations children find more difficult to learn.