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Readers and Leaders Program

The Readers and Leaders Program can be developed at your local library or school libraries

“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose” – Dr. Seuss

Trained volunteer high school and college students, with the direction of Foundation professionals and collaboration with libraries and schools, provide the sessions for children ages 3-6 years.  This pre-literacy program focuses upon early brain development/skills necessary for learning to read and write

Technology, such as brain scans, has allowed us to view the brain “at work”, showing how children learn.  This project brings fun, easily accessible brain-based reading readiness and early literacy interventions to preschool children through the community libraries and school libraries.  Libraries offer one of the first avenues of learning for families.  Volunteer high school and college students, the “Leaders”, are trained to work with children ages 3-6 years, the “Readers”, in developing pre-literacy skills.

21 million Americans cannot read.  20% of adults read at or below the fifth grade level.  Children who have not developed base literacy skills before they start first grade are 2-3 times more likely to drop out of school.  Our children are at risk.  Brain-based studies have demonstrated that early childhood years are critical years of active and complex brain development.  This brain-based pre-literacy project can help prepare preschoolers to learn the skills necessary for learning to read and write.

This project, having a brain-science base, serves to foster early brain development, literacy and intelligence.  It is designed as a fun, easily accessible early intervention project through libraries so that families can get an early start with the help of a community program. Students who work with the children can earn community service credit, while touching the life of a child.  This project embraces the global well-being of children, and addresses learning as a major health issue.

Child brain development research has experienced an explosion due to concerns for the status of our nation’s children.  We are involved in multiple efforts promoting child health and learning and the interface between brain-science and education.  It is time to bring research efforts from our labs to homes, schools and community.  This Readers and Leaders project mobilizes community efforts on behalf of young children and promotes the wisdom and efficacy of early age intervention regarding child development and learning.

Pre-Literacy Reading and Writing

“Readers and Leaders” builds upon brain processes needed to develop literacy, reading, and writing skills. Your child will learn skills to become efficient readers, writers, and thinkers.
Your child’s ear-brain connections, eye-brain connections, and motor-brain connections help them receive and express the sound, visual, and motor symbols of letters, numbers and words.


Involve children in reading from their first days of life. Talking with children about what is being read helps them develop critical thinking and analysis skills and planning skills. Play with language through story telling, puppet animation, song, and dance. Encourage children to learn letters of the alphabet, to discriminate different letter sounds, to discriminate different visual images of letters, and to write letters and words.

“Readers and Leaders” guides your child through brain-based activities to build necessary functions for literacy, reading, and writing:

  • Visual, auditory, and motor attention and reception of the alphabet code
  • Phonics/Sound Symbol awareness
  • Visual-spatial skills:  Sight/Symbol awareness
  • Line tracking:  Visual/Motor skills
  • Controlling the speed of eye and hand movement
  • Horizontal and vertical eye gaze
  • Combined sound-sight-tactile awareness
  • Sensory (auditory, visual, tactile) memory of letters, numbers, and words
  • Correct posture that promotes reading and writing
  • Light-dark glare
  • Eye guiding hand when writing, Eye guiding head when reading
  • Relaxed alertness


Reading and Writing with Music

“Readers and Leaders” emphasizes music as a pleasurable way for children to develop reading and language. Music stimulates multiple brain areas and sets the stage for learning and thinking.

“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences when speech ends.” –
Alphonse DeLamartine

Music is used to:


“Students trained in music score higher on standardized tests compared with non-musically trained peers.”
-Journal of Psychology of Music

Reading and Intelligence: Promoting Children to Become Thinkers, Planners, and Doers.

Intelligence is much more than IQ. Brain science advances have demonstrated that children can build upon the brain cells they are born with, having the potential to develop trillions of connections throughout the brain and body.

Intelligence involves brain connections that develop a child’s ability to:

  • Focus, sustain, and switch attention
  • Receive, analyze, and develop executive thinking and reasoning
  • Regulate emotions and develop social skills

Your child can participate in fun brain-based activities that foster the following skills

Optimal Learning
Readers and Leadershelps develop “relaxed alertness”; the ability to sustain attention and switch attention at a calm regulated pace. This helps children learn to follow directions, transition easily, and promotes intellectual potential.

Let me Hear your Voice
Readers and Leadersis designed to strengthen receptive and expressive language, including oral and written language. Speech, language, and memory skills are fundamental to prepare your child for success.

Memory Power
The Leaders and your child talk about the tasks they are learning, your child is building upon the ability to develop internal speech and language.  The interplay between external and internal speech builds memory, language, and comprehension.  It strengthens your child’s ability to think and organize and promotes their ability to recall and reflect.

Adapting and Relating to the Environment
“Readers and Leaders” builds upon your child’s ability to regulate mood, adapt to changing environment, and relate with others.  The development of well-regulated and modulated mood is core to all brain development.

Motor Skills Matter
Brain connections involving movement pass through all sensory pathways and aid attention, language, memory and mood skills.  Your child has fun with programs that build upon right/left coordination, balance, and sensory integration that promote their intellectual development.

Volunteer and child"My three children really enjoyed the Reading Program.  They loved thefun reading games and the rewards they earned.  It truly made learning fun!"
-Joanne Garvey

"The Reading Program and the C.H.I.L.D. Foundation has improved my daughter's skills and reduced her anxiety about reading."
-Sue McKibbon

"It's a wonderful program for enhancing reading in any child, whether gifted or having developmental difficulty.  My daughter has come a long way because the program really works."
-Renee Vallas