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"Learning To Read Is An Unnatural Act"

As funders of literacy initiatives, we believe it is important that donors know as much as they can about what they fund, and since reading comprehension is vital to literacy and achieving grade proficiency, we studied the topic in depth. In addition to other sources, we learned the most about reading comprehension instruction from a book written by Jane Oakhill, Kate Cain, and Carston Elbro, called Understanding and Teaching Reading Comprehension.

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What is explicit, multi-sensory literacy instruction?

Significant research and expert practitioners state that learning how to read with explicit, multisensory literacy instruction is needed by 46% of our students. If teachers receive this training, all of their students will have a better opportunity to reach grade-level reading skills. But what is multisensory, literacy instruction? Peggy Price, Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, is a gifted teacher and teacher trainer, and has kindly agreed to provide Boon with a description of explicit, multisensory literacy instruction that is clear and understandable.

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Sam and June Orton and the Orton National Scholarships

Giving teachers free training in explicit, structured literacy instruction methods is the goal of the Orton National Teacher Scholarships. Even though these teaching methods were originally devised by researchers and reading specialists for dyslexic children, the training, as designed for general classroom use, makes it possible for all teachers to teach reading to all learners.

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The best teachers are life-long learners

When good teachers learn that a method does not work for their students, they want to learn a method that will. In America, when it comes to literacy, we are failing our students and doing nothing to help teachers change their game.  Boon Philanthropy believes the answers lie in giving individual teachers a chance to learn the best, proven way to teach a child to read.

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"If you can read this, thank a teacher."

- Anonymous

While humans have walked the planet for millions of years, they have read the written word for thousands.  Speaking and listening is innate... but the ability to read doesn't come naturally. Today, good reading skills are taught by talented teachers that can help people learn the alphabetic code with explicit, structured literacy instruction methods.

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Where Is the Shame Card When We Need It?

Our failure to teach reading effectively has dire consequences.  Longitudinal studies show that children who are not reading at grade level by Fourth Grade struggle to catch up, with most, not at all.  When reading well is the cornerstone skill to all learning, why is America willing to watch generations of children pass through it’s educational institutions if only to fail?

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Over a Million Reasons to Support Childcare/Preschool Teacher Training

Childcare and preschool are receiving more attention than ever before, as more families have two working parents, and as the positive benefits of high-quality programs become better known and valued. Members of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce stated that it is, "obvious to everybody that early education is the best investment that could be made.”

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When is the right time to start being concerned about literacy? Early Literacy Birth to Five

Why we cannot afford to wait

The Nation’s Report Card came out last week.  Results from assessing reading skills among high school seniors in 2015 were not that different from 2013. Once again, just under 40 percent of students scored at college and career ready levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  That’s not a strong prognosis for college or job success.

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We Should All Make Friends Like Sam Does

A combination of grants and individual gifts come together to fund a non profit mission, so Boon stewards encourage grantees to establish and maintain genuine, longstanding institutional friendships. Since fundraising involves the collection of gifts represented by dollars, it is easily measured that way. But at the core and foundation of the process lies successful relationship building. A good external relations program creates and maintains institutional friendships on a daily basis.

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Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Stewardship

Helping smaller nonprofits to increase their mission strength and capacity is a vital part of Boon's combination of strategic level philanthropy with long-term stewardship. In such organizations, voluntary action plays an exceptionally important part in their success. We think tapping into that relationship energy will be instrumental as we fund and support our national network of collaborating, independent, nonprofit teacher training centers in their work to provide Orton National Scholarships in explicit, structured literacy instruction. As commentators have said, even paid "teaching is a form of philanthropic activity — it is a gift from one generation to another."

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