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Synergy’s Secrets » Building Literacy

Building Literacy

If you can read the words on this page, you probably take for granted how important literacy is for everyday life.  You may not remember when you first learned to read, but becoming literate does take quite a bit of effort.  Any parent or teacher can tell you that there is something truly magical that happens when a child finally “gets it” and can understand the meaning of the text rather than just being able to correctly pronounce the words on a page.  It’s at these often under-appreciated “magic moments” that a world of knowledge opens up to a child.

Unfortunately, many students, especially in the inner city, never get to those “magic moments,” never become truly literate, and never gain a strong foundation in literacy.  In one South Los Angeles neighborhood, only 23% of students leave elementary school proficient in reading, and it drops to 15% for high school students.  This shows that once students leave elementary school without solid literacy skills, they never really catch up, and opportunities for learning simply pass them by.

Synergy recognizes that building students' literacy is nuanced and takes effort, but is well worth the attention to detail.  Synergy teaches students specifically how to take command of the words they encounter, even multi-syllabic words that they have never seen before and words that are part of complex sentences, where the meaning can easily get lost.  By doing so, words become a source of power for children rather than a source of frustration.

The end result is that children learn to love reading!