This curriculum has had a powerfully positive effect on student achievement in eastern Montana schools. Student early literacy assessment scores have improved greatly in the schools that have begun using this curriculum over the past 2-3 years. The training has helped us to implement correctly and with fidelity.
Pam Pettigrew, RtI Support Specialist, Glendive, Montana
I discovered Dr. Heggerty's program when a visiting reading specialist used it as an intervention strategy. I mentioned it to my professor at Dominican University when earning my Master's Degree two years ago and he praised the program saying it was the best PA program available. When I requested the program for our school our Principal was at first reluctant but she was eventually persuaded and for that I am so grateful.
We have seen the kids' Phonemic Awareness increase tremendously in a very short time through the use of the program, which of course has led to success in all areas of reading. In addition the kids get so motivated because I always start the week out saying, "Let's see what Dr. Heggerty has in store for us this week!" They love the variety! Their favorite feature, as you can imagine, is the nonsense words. We have a great time learning with this program.
Mary Beth Blatner, First Grade Teacher, Ascension School, Oak Park, IL
I wanted to give you info on a positive different twist to your phonemic awareness program. We have been using the program in our K-3 classes this year and in some of our classes for older students with significant disabilities. I now have a third grade boy with autism who has been virtually non-verbal up to this point, verbally sounding out and reading words. It is a somewhat painful process for him still, but your phonemic awareness program was just enough to provide him with the concrete connection between letters and sounds. The more they practice, the more he participates verbally. He is carrying this over to reading simple books at home. Amazing!
C. Denzinger, Special Services Director, Aurora, Ohio
• Alisa did a great job, very well done - easy to understand.
• Alisa was great! So many ideas and such great resources! Awesome.
• Thanks for such a practical and doable class.
• Presenter was very knowledgeable to info and a great speaker!
• This was one of the best, most organized presentations I have been to!
• Great presenter - articulate, pleasant, easy to follow!
• This was the best workshop I have event attended. Fabulous job!!!
Comments from Phonemic Awareness training, presented by Alisa VanHekken in Glendive, MT
• The training was excellent! Thank you for all the specific strategies to help my students grow as readers.
• This training was incredibly helpful for our district. We have been lacking a structured time during ELA to practice these skills. I am so glad I came!
• This is such a must-use for successful readers and writers. I have taught 31 years and have pieced these skills together myself. So glad to see it provided all together!
• I really enjoyed this training and thought Alisa was excellent!
Comments from Phonemic Awareness training, presented by Alisa VanHekken in Fort Zumwalt, MO
Comprehensive, yet succinctly organized, logically arranged, and richly resourced. Phonemic Awareness: Skills They Need to Help Them Succeed is the best research-based program for foundational literacy I have ever seen. Its value for hard-of-hearing & students struggling with central auditory processing issue is clearly applicable. Alisa was an approachable and generous presenter.
Judy Nelson, Hearing Support Teacher, School District of Philadelphia
As phonemic awareness is so very critical to our youngest learner’s literacy development, we knew that we wanted a comprehensive resource that would support our instruction. The teachers in our district and on our adoption committee had participated in professional development on this topic but did not feel the current resources we had available gave our students enough of a foundation.
After piloting and using Literacy Resources, Inc. Phonemic Awareness for Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Primary the teacher teams knew that this resource outshone the rest of the curriculums that we studied. It consists of daily, explicit, engaging lessons that allow students the opportunity to hear, learn, practice and refine their phonemic awareness skills. It ties nicely into other core curriculums that we already had in place for writer’s workshop, shared and guided reading and phonics instruction so connecting it for students is seamless and the carryover is obvious. While the phonemic awareness curriculum is rigorous enough to keep all students engaged, it works in repetition nicely to give all students additional daily practice and time to master the wide range of skills. Additionally, the resources work well in small group for students identified with reading needs that will need more time and intensity with these literacy foundational skills.
Alisa VanHekken visited our district to provide half day trainings for all of our kindergarten teachers, grade one teachers and reading specialists. Her training was incredibly informational and teachers left the half day training feeling supported and ready to implement the curriculum. Teachers noted her high level of knowledge about literacy and the practical ways she provided to help them learn, manage and trouble shoot around a new curriculum. While the resource is very easy to read and follow, the additional training equipped all teachers to be able to understand why they are doing the phonemic awareness work with their students every day.
Liz Mackowick, Reading & Title I Coordinator for West Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo, North Dakota