Do teachers know?

Some do. In elementary school, Madeleine struggled to read. There was no explicit reading instruction. She was seemingly expected to learn just by being around books. Fortunately, her parents were able to move her to a clinical school where she was taught to read through a multi-sensory structured language program. Within a couple of years, she was on her way. She knew she wanted to be a teacher. She attended a university with one of the best education programs in the country. There, she discovered that students planning to teach elementary school did not learn how to teach reading. Only because she also studied special education was she exposed to MSSL teaching. So, she knows how to teach reading. She now does in Atlanta. Madeleine wishes, however, that she had been spared the years of doubting her own intelligence. She knows we don't have to do this to people.      

A "Moonshot Moment"

There's a tremendous movement afoot in Indian River County, Florida. They're shooting for the moon. They've undertaken to ensure that by 2018 no less than 90% of their third graders are proficient readers. Wait, you don't understand. That's way better than any public schools do. We traveled to Vero Beach to see the excitement. Barry Andersson and Antonio Aquirre set up, took down, set up, took down, set up, took down  ... you get the idea ... as we interviewed over 30 people, shared a breakfast while listening to wonderful stories of success, heard some children tell amazing stories at the museum, learned some reading with Ms. Tiffany Bland's third-grade class, laughed with Adam "The Dime" Faust, and shared memories and hopes with too many others to name here. But, we have to mention a special thanks to Barbara Hammond and Liz Woody, founders of The Learning Alliance, who handed us the keys to the community and made sure we went into every room. Interstellar!  


George Brister will be featured in the film. He is a super nice guy you will want to get to know. I recently interviewed George for StoryCorps during their layover in Dallas. It is one of many stories they record every day to archive in several libraries including the Library of Congress. They select a very few to air. They picked George's story. You can read more about it and listen to the excerpt played on (an NPR affiliate) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Here's a link:  

It Keeps Us Going

The teaser for Around the Words premiered in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, September 18. Thanks for all the compliments and well wishes. We hope it makes you want to see the rest of the story. The teaser is also available on YouTube. Just search for Around the Words teaser. Spread the word, please.

We're Singing

We are very happy to announce the addition of "Literary Now" to the movie score. Written and performed by Shawlesa Tranell Amos (a/k/a ShySpeaks), Lauren Lee and Tommy Dean Simpson,  "Literary Now" is featured on ShySpeaks' recently released EP "Invited" available on iTunes. Cuts from the song are featured in the opening and closing of our teaser. Thanks to these great artists for allowing us to use "Literary Now."