The YokyWorks Foundation provides explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and early phonics to build a sound foundation for fluent reading. Our evidence-based structured literacy program provides effective early intervention for students at risk for reading failure and improves their sense of self-efficacy through the learning process. We also offer coaching and professional development opportunities for educators. If you are looking for answers about your child's reading, click to explore our screening and intervention programs!
"I'm excited about basically everything! It's more fun to go to school now because I really like writing, reading…I just really like it!"
When Aliya started at YokyWorks, she struggled with reading and spelling, but reading is no longer a barrier for her. Her YokyWorks education specialist focused on developing her phonemic awareness skills - the ability to perceive, order and manipulate the individual sounds in each spoken syllable of the English language. According to Aliya, her education specialist taught her "more words and how to spell them, write them, and all the sounds that they make." Now, she devours chapter books from the Magic Treehouse series and any books about Minecraft.
"My favorite part of sessions was learning new things!"
Students who struggle to learn to read in kindergarten and first grade often experience anxiety, self-doubt, and fear of failure. When Katherine started our program in first grade, reading made her want to run and hide. Her parents were concerned that her struggle with reading would become a barrier to success in other areas of her life.
The YokyWorks Foundation is dedicated to providing early intervention and remediation for children at risk for reading failure. As part of our early intervention program, we screen students for the risk factors associated with dyslexia before reading becomes a significant barrier to success. After screening, we build a sound foundation with explicit instruction on phonological and phonemic awareness. Our structured literacy program layers early phonics onto sound processing using paired learning, visual, auditory, kinesthetic and articulation activities. In addition to 1:1 online early literacy screening and intervention, we also offer coaching and professional development opportunities for educators.
Why Screen to Intervene?
Research shows that intervention is most effective when implemented early, while the gap between struggling readers and successful readers is still small. Early intervention helps prevent student's from falling behind their peers by targeting deficits in early literacy skills before students must read to learn.
YokyWorks graduates demonstrate statistically significant growth (F (1, 20) = 10.05, p = .005) on the LAC-3 test measure from pretest to post-test. The LAC-3 provides a snapshot of phonemic and phonological awareness improvement as a result of our program. The skills measured in this standardized assessment lay the foundation for successful literacy acquisition.
Dyslexia is often not identified until after a student has fallen behind academically, once they're expected to read in order to learn.
Students, especially bright students, can use their memory to approximate reading. As a result, they do not develop automaticity and confidence. They may find attending to comprehension tedious and dislike reading because their efforts are not efficient. After years of compensating for reading difficulties with poor learned strategies, learning to crack the code of English becomes much more difficult. Repeated failure to read can also greatly impact a child's sense of self-efficacy and esteem, both in and out of the classroom.
Early Intervention is Failure Prevention
Empowering teachers and other education professionals to provide valid screening and intervention is the bedrock of our approach to improving literacy outcomes for children at risk for dyslexia and other reading difficulties. The YokyWorks Foundation provides training and ongoing professional development for all of our Education Specialists.
"By combining the knowledge of prevention with intense reading intervention for nontraditional readers, YokyWorks bridges the gap between access and achievement."
Prior to starting at YokyWorks, Sydney completed her Master's in Special Education with a certificate in dyslexia and taught Pre-K in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes that she has a responsibility to the greater good and has the ability to make a meaningful difference through the empowerment of reading. We recently sat down with Sydney to learn more about her passion for reading education and her approach to working with students.