"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
"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
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
- 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
- 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
Knight, Reading Clinic & Department of Corrections, Bermuda
"The Children of the Code experience was life changing for
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
J. Ong, Hillsborough County School District, Florida
had never heard so much expertise in one seminar. Excellent
- A. Mares, Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg,
This was great! You are right on target... your message
needs to be shared with entire communities. -
Burton, Board of International Dyslexia Assoc., N. Carolina
GROWING UP ASHAMED OF YOUR MIND
EXCERPTS FROM THE 100+ VIDEOS (4+ HOURS) OF
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
"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,
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.
all, we don’t
blame anyone. The blame game and the
'reading wars' have retarded our progress.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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
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
have also interviewed more than 40
struggling readers ranging from 4 to 30
years of age.
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
- 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
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
Thanks for reading. Please share our
work with everyone you know. Help us. A
mind is terrible thing to be ashamed of.