A letter to politicians and educators

I am Bob Zenhausern, director of the Enabling Support Foundation.  ESF is a Cloud based 501c (3) with a mission in Education and Human Development.  I taught graduate and undergraduate Neuropsychology and Research at St. John's University for 35 years.  I left as a full Professor to concentrate on ESF.  I am a born New Yorker who has lived in all 5 boroughs and now ESF is based on a computer in my apartment on the UWS. 

During the past 10 years the Enabling Support Foundation has supported grassroot African social good organization.  Our strategy is to find already productive organizations and guide them into the 21st Century, using the resources of the Internet.to support these social good organizations.  We are using Office 365 as the communication center of the ESF Office 365 network.  We have a growing community that can collaborate on common goals or proposals for funding.  Our Prime Mission is to bring Education into the 21st Century.  We have started by the introduction of what we call Early Reading.  It has one rule.  Postpone the alphabet until the child can read.

Consider how children learn the meaning of the spoken word and compare it with the way they learn the meaning of printed word. Understanding the printed word takes place 5 years after the spoken word.  Why?  Because that is the way reading is typically taught.  Starting with the alphabet and building the word and saying it.

Early Reading postpones the alphabet until the child can read.  Teach the child the spoken and written word at the same time and they will learn both together.  Teach both listening and reading by the word, not the letters.  The letters come later when they learn spelling and keyboarding.

In theory it sounds good, but does it work?  Yes.  Better than I expected from both students and teachers.  In 2017 a proof of concept study of Early Reading was done using 9 nursery schools in Kenya and Uganda.  In four months the 3 to 5-year old children were able to read three sentence paragraphs.  We have progressive video documentation of those four months.

From May 2017 to now we have moved from nothing to more than 50 sites.

Our goal is to have children start school reading and writing.  Better yet, children start school when they can read and write.  We are developing a Primary Grade curriculum to accommodate them.  This is what we were able to build in rural Uganda and the slums of Nairobi.  No money, no training, just a program that worked.  The children and teachers were happy.  Dyslexia did not exist.  Everyone could read.  It will work anywhere.