Today’s guest with Roger & Virginia on The Learning Curve is Murray Bass, the founder and president of Tools of Learning for Children.
Murray is an 83 year-old retiree who has some children enjoying reading books as early as 3 years-old! His “wards” are routinely doing it at age 4! What a remarkable story this is.
The Mission Statement of Murray’s Tools of Learning for Children organization is:
“The Founders of this Nation envisioned a country populated and governed by literate, patriotic people. To fulfill their vision, Tools of Learning for Children commits to this mission.
“We will raise funds and provide materials for two purposes: to facilitate children being able to read — the foundation of all learning — and to help them understand that they are blessed to be citizens of the United States of America.”
This is important because:
The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (published October 21, 2008) showed the following achievement levels for Californian public schools:
4th Grade reading — only 18% were proficient and 30% reading at a basic level.
8th Grade reading — only 20% were proficient and 41% reading at a basic level.
What a disaster!
Compare this example of what Murray’s organization is accomplishing with 3 and 4 year-olds at a cost of around $15 per child.
A letter from Judy Ingersoll, Vacaville Christian Schools, Vacaville, CA dated June 18, 2008.
“Out of 102 report cards for Early Kindergarten students (children who have not yet entered kindergarten)
102 children (all of them) know all of their phonics sounds
92 children can easily blend consonants and vowels
87 children can read one vowel words
56 can read two vowel words*
“* We have not stressed two vowel words in the past as our kindergarten teachers have asked us to focus on phonics and blending, but with front line phonics the children are more prepared to read so we have tested the children this year to see how they are doing.
“Please remember we still have 4 year-olds in EK, and some of these children started school very late in the year, even during the last couple of months so they did not have a full year with Front Line Phonics. Still, the fact that 100% of the children know their phonics sounds and 90% are blending consonants and vowels the first week of June tells us by the end of summer these children will be even more prepared than they are now.
“Thank you for all you do for VCS.