American Youth Literacy Foundation 501 C 3
If your child is a new or struggling reader, please download the FUNetix 12 Hour Reading App from the App Store or Google Play. The app is the result of more than 19 years of rigorous field testing, is patented, and will teach your child how to read in just 12 hours. The American Youth Literacy Foundation 501 c 3 is a nationwide, charitable non-profit founded in 2008 and dedicated to ensuring that every child learns how to read before they finish 3rd grade. We launched the FUNetix 12 Hour Reading App in 2020 and it's 100% free for individual download and use. Please visit our website at www.FUNetix.org for more information, or connect with me on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rkaliwoodward.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Regardless of where you are in the reading learning process we will do a quick assessment, then jump right in using our AMAZING FUNetix 12 Hour Reading App, a 2,000 screen, fully narrated journey into literacy. FUNetix contains 40 modules of content and takes children from the ABC's to a second grade reading level. Teaching sessions are typically 20-30 minutes long and twice per week.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Please see my LinkedIn profile and our website. I personally have over 35 years of teaching experience, but when my own son was unable to learn how to read, I took him out of school to homeschool him for a year. Based on my background as an Arabic linguist for U.S. Army Intelligence and as an ESL teacher in South America, I stumbled upon a key insight in the reading learning process, namely that children don't know the 44 sounds of English. They aren't taught them in school; and yet, mastery of what is now called "phonemic awareness," is the single most important factor in teaching a child how to read. After starting the American Youth Literacy Foundation in 2008, I wrote a book on literacy instruction called How to Become an Excellent Reading Tutor. I also wrote Happy Plaid Cats Stack Black Hats, an introduction to phonemic awareness and the sounds of the English language for pre-k through 2nd grade students (available on Amazon).
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
We do not "charge" a fee for any of our services. We are a nationwide 501 c 3 tutoring non-profit that provides free tutoring to underprivileged children. If, at any time, you would like to make a donation to help other children in need, we certainly welcome that, but it is entirely up to you. Make checks payable to the American Youth Literacy Foundation, 492 Reginald Lane, Collegeville, PA 19426.
How did you get started teaching?
Not that it's 100% relevant, but I dropped out of Wesleyan University after my freshman year and hitchhiked to South America in 1984, specifically Bogota, Colombia, where I lived for a year and became an ESL teacher for corporate executives, government officials, adults and teens. I returned and became an Arabic and Spanish linguist in the Army 1985-1989. I went on to get my BA at Austin Peay State Univ. and Law Degree at UCLA. I taught ESL in the U.S. multiple times and began teaching reading, specifically, 17 years ago, after my son matriculated back into the public school system. I was so shocked to discover that more than 20 million children in America's public schools can't read, that I founded the American Youth Literacy Foundation in August of 2008 and have dedicated my life to solving the literacy crisis in America and to ensure that the universal civil right of literacy is provided to every American child.
What types of students have you worked with?
Underpriviledged, under-served, inner city, suburban and rural, children, teens and adults, ESL, learning disabiliites, gifted, just about every kind of student.
We currently only work with students in grades 1st (second semester)-5th (including summer after 5th grade).
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
An amazing, all volunteer team of more than 75 people spent all of 2020 building the FUNetix 12 Hour Reading App. This was an incredible experience, but moreso, we've now made reading accessible through the app to any child on the planet!!!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Ask them if they know ALL 44 sounds of the English language. Then ask them to recite them. If they don't know the sounds of English, sorry, you are not talking to an expert. Reading is about sounds and mapping letters and letter combinations to sounds. Before you can teach phonics you need to understand "phonemic awareness." If you do not know ALL of the sounds of the English language, you are pretty much, by default, not qualified to teach phonemic awareness. This is the fundamental reason that children are not learning how to read in our public schools. This is not to say that other methods of teaching reading don't "work." They rely on arduous one on one training and take months or years of, essentially, painful memorization of rules and/or rote memorization of sight words and irregular phonics patterns. Our reading program is fun, teaches a "Magic Code," engages children immediately in "Real Speech" reading materials, and doesn't teach reading through rules, but rather through a painless process of using a variety of learning support tools to help children directly assimilate English spelling patterns.