"This information is a very important basis of understanding for teachers and I am not sure how many of us know it. I learned more here (seminar)than in all my college courses on language." - B. Gallagher, Niagara Falls, New York
"Your website has totally changed the type of material and the message I'm delivering to my students. Your information has provided both a foundation and a springboard into what avenues to pursue. I've woven in your video clips to help make various points...the clips are awesome! I finally feel like I am able to offer my students some truly valuable information about teaching reading." - Dr. B. Lewellyn, Univ. of Dayton, OH
"I was so fortunate to be in attendance for the presentation of “The Code and the Challenge of Learning to Read It” seminar at Columbus State University. As a 31-year veteran of the public school system of Georgia, a reading teacher, and now a reading coach, I was astounded by the information in the presentation." - C. Taylor, Reading First Literacy Coach, Stewart County Elementary School, Lumpkin, Georgia
"Thank you!!!! How great to have my graduate students read the interviews of Adams, Shaywitz, the list goes on.... Videos are great. They were very helpful in my undergraduate classes. I have watched all of them and intend to watch/discuss in the Fall/Spring terms with my graduate classes." - Mary Wines, Professor, Language Therapist Master's Program CALT, Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, TX
"Every aspect of this presentation was fantastic! How can we get this information to those-who-need-to-know? and How to get those folks to recognize and DO SOMETHING about this massive problem?" - K. Knight, Reading Clinic & Department of Corrections, Bermuda
"The Children of the Code experience was life changing for me." - T. Nichols, Ph.D., Consultant, Alabama Dept. of Education
"The keynote speech (Opening the May 2006 Florida Literacy Conference) and the concurrent session in the afternoon were very inspiring! After the afternoon session I did not even want to go to any other seminar since I was on such a "high" from your presentation of "Children of the Code". Thank you very much!" - J. Ong, Hillsborough County School District, Florida
"I had never heard so much expertise in one seminar. Excellent presentation." - A. Mares, Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg, TX
This was great! You are right on target... your message needs to be shared with entire communities. - A. Burton, Board of International Dyslexia Assoc., N. Carolina
IMAGINE GROWING UP ASHAMED OF YOUR MIND
EXCERPTS FROM THE 100+ VIDEOS (4+ HOURS) OF COTC VIDEOS
Millions of kids grow up ashamed of their minds because they blame themselves for not being good enough at reading.It's a crime they feel this way and we want your help to stop it. We are raising money to give our DVD sets to the teachers and literacy volunteers that need it the most but can afford it the least. Help us raise funds that will spread the word about and help stop reading shame! Donate now!
"I find your website highly useful, intellectually provocative, and very compelling. We've used your videos in faculty meetings, parent meetings, and study groups. Thank you, thank you, thank you." - Barbara Weiss, Principal, Meadow Hill School, Newburg, NY
While we are grateful for all who have contributed to the emerging science of reading and to increasing social awareness of the importance of literacy, the Children of the Code project approaches the social-educational challenge differently. First of all, we don’t blame anyone. The blame game and the 'reading wars' have retarded our progress. For over a hundred years we’ve argued over ‘progressive vs. conservative’ ideologies; ‘phonics vs. whole (x)’ methodologies, and ‘spelling vs. alphabet’ code reform. Effectively marginalized by such simplifications, tens of thousands of research studies, hundreds of products, and decades of national and state government legislation have barely moved the needle. New methodologies are embraced by those who share their implicit ideologies and superficially rejected by those who don’t. Part of the reason for this is that the proponents of literacy and particular systems of instruction tend to come with 'baggage'. Partisan politics, ideologies, methodologies, institutional funding needs, profit motives, and marketing hyperbole all contribute to obscuring the issues. They also tend to advocate "solutions" to a problem that, for the most part, educators and parents don't sufficiently understand. Thus, despite decades of literacy campaigns and advances in the science of reading, there is little evidence of any significant improvement. The lives of tens of millions of children and adults are still being seriously-adversely affected by reading improficiency and its insidious collateral consequences.
"I have always felt that I am fairly well read, however, your presentation and now your website has given me new direction...I have always had a sense of urgency for the children in my care (as a speech pathologist, a principal, and now a director of special education) and now your information gives me the meat to start alarming others... thank you so much for the work that you have done to bring all of these people together, especially the children." - Mary Friesen, Director, Special Education, Thomasville City Schools, Thomasville, GA
Our mission is to call attention to and provide resources for such a reframe. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We don't endorse any particular expert, methodology, or product and we aren't trying to sell a 'solution'. We aren't trying to persuade anyone about anything except the necessity of deepening their learning. We don't look at reading difficulties through the lens of how to improve the 'teaching' of reading, instead through the lens of 'understanding the challenges involved in learning to read' - from the learner's perspective. In fact, our primary allegiance isn't even to reading improvement per se, our work on reading is part of a larger mission we call 'Stewarding the HEALTH of Our Children's Learning'.
Our premise is this: regardless of particular methods of instruction, the better educators and parents understand the challenges involved in learning to read the better they can help children through those challenges. Thus, the mission of the Children of the Code Project is to help educators, parents, and all who care for children develop a deeper first-person understanding of the challenges involved in learning to read.
Warning:Protracted difficulty with learning to read can lead to cognitive habits and emotional aversions that endanger the general health of learning. Above all else, do no harm.
So far, we have interviewed over 120 leaders in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics, orthography, instructional design, child, adult, and family literacy, teaching, government policy, and many other fields related to understanding the code and the challenges involved in learning to read it. We have also interviewed more than 40 struggling readers ranging from 4 to 30 years of age.
"I use COTC in all my classes. All students are engaged by the videos, which start some very lively discussions. Students have told me that they have a better understanding of both language and reading as a result of these videos." - Judy Ann Greene, Assistant Prof. of Ed., Park University, Parkville, MO
The Children of the Code project has five major components:
"All in all, AMAZING STUFF. I told Mr. Boulton, if you did not come out here for anyone else, you came for me. I am still having to think through and process what I have learned.
It is life changing!
- G. Hyde, San Francisco, California
In case you didn't notice: the text on this page is loaded with links to videos, interview transcripts, and data spread throughout our site and other sources on the web. From the beginning, following the links on this page will guide you on a tour through the heart of our work so far.
All of our online resources are free.Public schools and non-profit organizations canfreely embed our content in their own courses and websites. Thanks for reading. Please share our work with everyone you know. Help us. A mind is terrible thing to be ashamed of.