My name is Bill Stillwell and I am a volunteer tutor at Reading Works in Modesto, California. Our goal at Reading Works is to teach adults how to read, write and spell. I have been involved in this program for over two years and currently have three students who each get three hours of instruction each week. I find this to be a most challenging and rewarding experience.
When I first started with the program I came in full of excitement, enthusiasm and zero knowledge of how to teach reading. Having been an avid reader since I was a child, I was sure that I would have no difficulty teaching someone else how to read. How wrong I was. For over a year I struggled. While my students did make progress, there were too many times when they would ask me questions about why certain words sounded like they did and I didn't have the answer. We seemed to reach a plateau where we were at a roadblock. My students were frustrated and so was I.
Then I discovered Reading Horizons on the internet. What a "eureka" moment. At last I could answer those questions about phonics rules that I didn't understand before. I was able to obtain a laptop and the software from the Reading Works coordinator, and in January we started the program. I took my students back to the basics as I felt it was important to lay a good foundation. The results are impressive. Significant improvements in both reading and spelling were realized. I am now a confirmed disciple of Reading Horizons and I preach its benefits to as many of our tutors as I can reach. They too are telling me of struggling to overcome the same obstacles I ran into.
As I've said, I am a strong supporter of your products. In October of this year I will be traveling to a mission school in Kenya to present a class on Reading Horizons to the instructors there. When I leave, I hope to leave behind a laptop and a complete set of instructional materials so that the teachers can use it in their curriculum.