Comments from Leaders in
Literacy and Learning:
'On The Brain'
of the Code” is a wonderful, general resource for
educating yourself, a class, a teaching staff, your
professional assistants — or any other group with a need to
know — about the miracle of reading. A second, very
enlightened focus of Boulton’s opus is on the origins of,
and the great personal and societal costs, of impairments in
strategy was 1) to record beautifully guided conversations
with more than a hundred scholars, scientists and educators
who have something useful to say about reading and reading
failure; 2) to collect a large series of
straight-from-the-heart interviews with less-than-proficient
and busted readers; then, as a skilled documentarian, 3) to
summarize the wisdom represented by our leading experts and
by kids struggling to master the incredibly complex skill of
proficient reading in a series of beautifully crafted DVDs
summarizing different aspects of the science and sociology
of reading (the ‘code’), and of reading failure. These are
GREAT teaching tools. I have personally especially enjoyed
Boulton’s treatment of the origins and expressions of
dyslexia, the emotional dangers of reading failure, and its
enormous societal costs. When David Boulton’s treatment
extends into my own scientific subdiscipline, his treatment
passes muster, for accuracy, and for balance.
I have also
enjoyed reading transcripts of Boulton’s interviews, which
can be accessed (free of charge) at
www.childrenofthecode.org. They are special because this
large group of world-class experts are all adroitly guided
by David to express their overall perspective about how
their science or professional experience relates to the
‘great issues’ of reading science and of the individual and
collective impacts of reading success and reading failure on
American society. This is great stuff, full of wisdom, rich
in insight, the whole a LOT greater than the sum of its
parts! I’ve read more than sixty of these interviews over
the past months, and each time I take another bite at this
feast, I learn a little more about reading and dyslexia. I’m
readin’ ‘em all! If language or reading is within your range
of interest, check it out.
the Code” is a unique achievement, and a special gift for
all of us! Thanks, David, for this OUTSTANDING contribution
to this VERY important subject. Nothing quite like it, under
the sun! -
Dr. Michael Merzenich,
Center for Integrative Neurosciences, UCSF
"It’s a wonderful thesis and it's so
refreshing to hear you articulate it because I guess I am in
total agreement with it and I have not really heard people
articulate it as clearly you have... I love what you
are doing." -
Dr. Louisa Moats, Sopris West
"As a veteran
principal in a large K-6 school filled with largely
disadvantaged youth and many struggling readers, I find your
website highly useful, intellectually provocative, and very
compelling. As a Reading First school, sustainability of
gains and our ability to move these gains to adolescent
readers is a challenge. It is great to know that even when
the funding runs out, there are resources like this one.
We've used your videos in faculty meetings, parent meetings,
and study groups. I've shared the site with my colleagues.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm looking forward to the
time that our teacher-training institutions of higher
learning catch up. I also hope you are encouraging our 3
presidential candidates (or perhaps their aides) to start
making connections between literacy and the health of our
Barbara Weiss, Principal, Meadow Hill School, Newburg, NY
wonderful thing that you're doing. I appreciate the scope of
what you're doing. It's called information improvement which
is the prime issue in knowledge advancement. How do you put
things together in ways that are easily understandable and
communicable to other people. You're talking about a big
thing. People see pieces of it and you're putting together a
whole lot of things that no individual one of us has a grasp
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Alaska,
Co Author - "Meaningful Differences"
most scholars, until awakened by the “Children of the Code”
project, I took reading as much for granted as eating and
drinking. Very few of us have paid sufficient attention to
the specific emotions triggered in children as they begin to
read. Yet any impediment to mastery of the confusing
code that connects spoken and written English must trigger
shame, the emotion that stops all useful thought. So painful
does shame become in the public arena of the schoolroom that
our children swiftly divide into two streams and two futures
purely on the basis of their response to the shame that
accompanies the struggle to learn our written language.
“Children of the Code” merits the serious attention of
anyone interested in emotional health of children or the
future of America." -
Donald L. Nathanson, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
Jefferson Medical College, Author: Shame and Pride and
that’s interesting. I think that’s a lovely
description of it (the challenge of learning to read).
It really is a virtual reality, it is a matrix….I’m
impressed with the cast that you’ve assembled; it’s
certainly a very impressive group." -
Dr. Tim Shanahan, Chair National Early
Literacy Panel, National Reading Panel Member, President
(2006), International Reading Association
really attracted me to your project was its originality and
breadth. I really like that you have assembled such a
diverse group of experts in a variety of areas pertaining to
reading. What I think is really important for the public to
understand is the magnitude of the numbers of individuals
(not just dyslexics) who struggle to learn to read, and the
impact this has both on the individuals affected, as well as
Dr. Paula Tallal, Chair of Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Center for Family Literacy is thrilled to be involved in an
effort of this nature that drives at the importance of
understanding the reading difficulties so many people
Sharon Darling, Founder and President, The Nation Center for
“There is NOTHING like it anywhere... This is POWERFUL.”
Sweet, Founder National Right to Read Foundation, Retired
Professional Staff Member, U.S. House of Representatives,
Committee on Education and the Workforce, Washington, DC
"It’s great. I think this is fascinating. It’s wonderful
that you’re doing this. I would love to have our people
involved in it. We would love to be in continued
cooperation with you on it."
- Sandra Feldman, (past)
President, American Federation of Teachers
are doing is simply wonderful."
- Gabor Kertesi, Institute of
Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
what you have all done and am using the videos in graduate
school psychology courses as well as in consultation with
elementary teachers and administration".
- Dr. Lynn O'Connell, Alfred University, NY
you!!!! How great to have my graduate students read the
interviews of Adams, Shaywitz, the list goes on....before
reading their books/articles. 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 classes."
- Mary Wines, Professor, Midwestern State University
Language Therapist Master's Program CALT, Wichita Falls, TX
Friends: I've just had a most profitable and interesting
professional experience that I want to pass along. Thanks to
a brief email exchange with Bob Sweet, I discovered a
website (and project) called Children of the Code (go to
www.childrenofthecode.org) The site has transcripts of
interviews with more than 80 major experts on reading
instruction, from neuroscientific viewpoints to classroom
perspectives. Mr. Sweet suggested that I read a
transcript of an
interview with him to learn more about scientific-based
reading instruction and his perspective on how to teach
reading. The interview was most helpful, even though the
discussion was almost exclusively about children. After
reading Mr. Sweet's interview I clicked immediately on an
interview with Robert Wedgeworth, head of Proliteracy. The
EPIPHANY MOMENT happened when I began to compare the two
points of view. I was surprised to find what I believe to be
considerable common ground. Both literacy leaders agree
about issues of self-esteem and environmental factors such
as parental support. More and more I believe that what
appears to be opposing views about techniques to teach
reading is really more about rhetoric.
been trying to "listen hard" to the conservative point of
view to find "common ground" as I have increasingly become
alarmed that infighting and turfism are getting worse, not
better. This effort has been exhilirating. While I continue
to be unconvinced by much of the "proof" that "science"
offers, and I wish Mr. Sweet would drop words like
"malpractice" from his vocabulary, I have learned a lot. In
short, I think Mr. Sweet and others, including myself, need
to come out of our respective corners and meet in the
middle. A truly open-minded discussion of research may be
that middle ground. The website "Children of the Code" may
not a non-partisan forum, (I haven't spent enough time there
yet to judge that) but it is available and open.
everyone on this list, of all viewpoints, to spend some time
with Children of the Code."
- D. Yoho,
Co-moderator, NIFL-Health Listserv, Executive Director,
Greater Columbia Literacy Council, Past President, SC Adult
"Basically what I’m feeding back to you is reinforcement of
the theory that you have been discussing based on our
on-the-ground experience with adults who are reflecting
those same behaviors." (referring to
reading-shame-aversion behavior in children) -
Dr. Robert Wedgeworth, President of ProLiteracy
"Your approach is a novel and promising way of tackling a
long-standing serious social problem, the functional
illiteracy of many young people in the United States and
other English-speaking countries."
Robin Allott - Linguist,
Author of the Motor Theory of Language Origin 1989 and of
The Great Mosaic Eye 2001 (on the origin and usefulness of
the alphabet) Sussex England
most compelling crisis and challenge in education is
addressing the epidemic of illiteracy. Toward that end, I
ask your consideration of this compelling proposal."
Senator Emeritus John Vasconcellos, Ex-Chair, California
Senate Education Committee
"David's grasp of the fundamentals of
learning from the "inside out" is a vision deserving of the
most serious consideration. It's not just a new
reading technique. He is the first one I know who has
created a concept of the 'silent' affective-cognitive
processes involved in reading that not only states the
problem, but who is offering new ways to move on. I
can personally attest to David's integrity as a person, a
scientist, and a technologist. I have seen the years
of dedication it took to realize and formulate his
Gary David, Ph.D, Epistemologist, Affect Therapist, L.A.
for everything you are doing. I look forward to sharing all
your videos with the teachers I work with in schools and the
faculty members I present to at conferences and through
informal communications." -
Mary Spencer, M.Ed., Colorado Department of Education
"This is a
wonderful site. I absolutely love your work and all of the
information and material that you make available" -
Arona Korman, Israeli Ministry of
"Great mission. Very good
information from outstanding sources. The integration of knowledge and opinions
from multiple disciplines is a tremendous resource for professionals, educators,
families, and individuals who have contact with and are affected by learning
difficulties. Congratulations on a job well done."
- Richard A. Harmel, Solutions for Dyslexia, Marina del Rey, CA
"I am currently
teaching two reading courses at the University of Phoenix. I
am writing to obtain permission to show your video clips in
these two courses, since I truly believe they will provide
the students with a better understanding of the challenges
that lay before us all, in the field of education. ...thank
you all for the tremendous job that you have undertaken in
developing these informative video clips. With sincere
- Consuelo Rios M. A., M. Ed., Lead
Faculty-University of Phoenix
colleagues and I truly appreciate the work of this project."
- Cresencia S. Huff, San Antonio Public Library, Texas
program and the kind of effort that you're doing seems to be
just perfect. When I saw your list of the people you have
already interviewed or were set to interview it was, of
course, the Who's Who of the whole field."
- Chris Doherty, Ex- National Program
Director, Reading First Program, U.S. Department of
"I use COTC in
all my classes. All students are engaged by the videos,
which start some very lively discussions. There is always an
"Ohhh!" response on several of the videos--particularly the
"Confusion" set. The video that includes the sounding out of
the phonemes in the English alphabet, and the student
sounding out "comparison" do a much better job of showing
future teachers what the reading process is like for
struggling readers. I also use the sets on the history of
reading and English language in my graduate class on
Introduction to Literacy. Students have told me that they
have a better understanding of both language and reading as
a result of these videos. Thank you so much, and we are
eagerly waiting for the rest of the videos to be available
in the fall! - Judy Ann Greene, Assistant Professor of Education, Park
University, Parkville, MO 64152-3795
thrilled with the information contained in Children of the
It is an exceptional
documentary. As an educator
and professional speaker, I mention Children of the Code in
my, Oops the Wheels Fell Off - How Did That Happen?
workshops and seminars. I always reference it and place the
info in my handouts."
- L. R. Donaldson - President, Beacon
Literacy, Alberta, Canada
"I 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... I am planning on sending
this URL to all of the principals in my district and am
going to set up time after school to watch the videos
together as a professional learning community... we'll see
how many attend... thank you so much for the work that you
have done to bring all of these people together, especially
- Mary Friesen,
Director, Special Education, Thomasville City Schools,
the literacy courses at University of Dayton for the past
three years...this after teaching for 30 years. I
accidentally stumbled upon your website and it 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."
information from CHILDREN OF THE CODE relates to all
students, those students who will benefit most are those who
haven't learned or are at risk at learning to read
"proficiently". In other words...a lot of what you talk
about is geared toward getting kids to read and understand
what they read. Your information isn't meant to be
prescriptive, but rather a knowledge base from which
teachers can intelligently and knowingly develop practices
that will enable them to really teach kids how to read."
eternally grateful for your information and am using it to
to provide our teachers-to-with the type of knowledge that
will really make a difference in teaching children how to
read." - Dr. B. Lewellyn,
University of Dayton, OH
superintendent, I took a few days to revitalize my learning.
I have been attending a meeting sponsored by the Center for
Creative Leadership. I was provided a grant to attend the
conference and to learn about exciting new research in
reading. I have had 3 days of powerful workshops led by some
of the leading researches in brain based learning and
reading. One of the most interesting presentations was given
by David Boulton. I will write more about this presentation
in the future, however, I would encourage all parents,
teachers, and staff to visit the web site
and view some of the powerful videos related to the problems
and challenges in reading instruction."
From the blog of
Terry K. Holliday, Superintendent,
Iredell-Statesville Schools, Statesville, NC
"Thank you for
your support and advice on how Children of the Code can be
effectively used in training. Sharing the information is
very beneficial to educators who may or may not have had
training connected to childhood and early development as
well as many other Children of the Code areas.
The Children of the Code information that I presented
was well received and prompted a productive discussion.
I plan to use Children of the Code resources in the future."
Hannum, The Literacy Council, Birmingham, AL
love Children of The Code Project. I am a Brazilian early
childhood and special education researcher who did graduate
studies in the US. So, most of the teachers and researchers
that I know are in your data base of interviews.
Congratulations! Thanks for such a great project."
- Heloiza Barbosa, Department of Linguistics, Federal
University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
"Your work is incredibly
valuable to my work! Thank you for helping me be more prepared with information
and resources for the parents I work with. Finding your site is the best
serendipity I have received in a very long time."
- Sandra Rodriguez, Parent Education Specialist, Los Angeles County Office of
"A Mind-Blowing Way to View
Learning: While many of us have
observed this effect on an intuitive level, it took writer, researcher, and
learning activist David Boulton to express the problem of incomplete learning in
terms of its devastating effect on kids:
"According to the U.S. Department of Education
more than 60% of K-12 school children are reading below the level needed to
proficiently process the written materials used in their grade levels -
reading below the level necessary for the brain-work of reading to be
transparent to the mind-work of learning from what they are reading.
Obviously, reading is the skill that matters most to success in school and
children who fall behind in reading are in great academic danger. However, it
is not just the lack of reading skills that most endangers these children.
It's the mind-shame."
This intriguing excerpt from Boulton's Children of the
Code website is only the tip of a huge iceberg of information about reading,
learning disabilities, and the insidious effects of systemic failures on the
futures of kids: "Our literacy problems are the legacy effects of
generations of ignorance, negligence and superficial thinking. More than all the
other issues combined it is our collective misunderstanding of 'the code' and
what is at stake and what is involved in 'learning to read it' that perpetuates
our reading crisis and, by extension, our education crisis," Boulton says.
"We need to completely reframe our thinking about reading."
See what else he has to say and be as blown away as I was! Then imagine schools
designed around these humane concepts . . . ." -
From the Ezine of Patricia Kokinos at ChangeTheSchools.com
Comments from Attendees of
Keynotes, Seminars, Workshops and Conference Presentations:
"I am a 30-year teacher and I felt like for once what was being said to
me made absolute sense." -
K. HusVall, Cheektawaga, New York
heard your presentation at the American Library Association’s Annual
Meeting. Your fascinating work may be our best hope of
rousing the nation from its inexplicable slumber on this issue."
J. Martin, Bread for the Head Organization, Chicago
"Wow! Eureka! Now I get it. I wish I had heard this 25 years ago."
- M. Plail, Sutton Elementary Even Start, Houston, TX
"The Children of the Code experience was life changing for me. I
have renewed passion to ensure that every child learn to break the
code--there is nothing wrong with the struggling reader--there is
something wrong with the curriculum or the implementation of the
curriculum!" - T. Nichols, Ph.D.,
Consultant, Alabama Department of Education
keynote speech (Opening the 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 very much!" -
J. Ong, Hillsborough County School District, Florida
really appreciated the thoughtful and non threatening way you presented
your very important message. Your organization has touched on a very
sensitive issue, one which I don't often hear many people in any field
addressing directly. It was powerful and well delivered and had the
right balance of personal stories and fact. Great work! I believe you
are hitting near the core of where we need to be, the change is upon us
and for the most part the current education system and
in general seems to be both reluctant to either acknowledge or accept
- D. Nakashima, Teacher, Burnaby School District, British Columbia,
important overview of (almost) every issue involved in learning; learning to
read; learning to learn. This piece
[shame] grabbed me. Of COURSE it is key to the learning process. It was the
first time I've seen it named. I'm greatly moved to find out more about this. I
plan to watch the videos -- I've been buying books about the history of our
language and love learning about this history. Where I've been romantic about
the "richness and history," you've brought the "stumbling
blocks" front and center.” – A.
Edwards, Dyslexia Tutor,
was a tremendous workshop! The material presented was eye opening. For
the first time, I was given insight into the way we learn and process
"the code". By understanding the interlockings of language environment,
self esteem and shame based feelings when not reaching learning
expectations, it became clear to me why so many become
disengaged/disconnected from the "educational process". -
D. Hardy - Illinois Action For Children, Chicago, Illinois
"This was my first exposure to "The Children of the Code" Website and
the work that you do. After listening to David Boulton, who explained
and played several video interviews in his (National Circle of Learning
Conference) keynote address, it was as if the pieces of the puzzle
magically appeared and fit into place. To learn for the first time that
our alphabet is based on Latin opened a previously closed door. I never
understood why it was so easy for me to pick up Italian. And though I do
not struggle with our language, I do periodically struggle trying to
figure out how to spell words correctly. Now it makes sense. I never fully
understood how a child felt when they struggle with reading. It truly
broke my heart. Also, though I've been sensitive to asking students to
read out loud, I am now even more sensitive to the potential damage I
can cause. The work that you do is critical to our understanding of
reading and the problems we face both individually and as a society. I
look forward to more of the videos as you continue to post them to your
Website." - N. Schmidt, Trainer,
Onondaga Cortland Madison County BOCES, Syracuse, NY
minutes into the lecture, I was wishing my entire staff had been there to hear
Mr. Boulton!. His presentation inspired a hunger in me to learn more about
Mind-Shame and the Children of the Code Project. This project has the potential
to revolutionize education in such a profound manner!” -
A. Hancock, Educator,
"Mr. Boulton is an excellent speaker and was very convincing about the
desperate situation our students are experiencing concerning reading
education. The interviews with the top educators and researchers in the
field was impressive, timely, and persuasive. Mr.Boulton presented
excellent information about the many varied causes of the literacy
crisis. THIS MATERIAL NEEDS TO BE PRESENTED to as many people as
possible. Mr. Boulton or his videos should be required material for
anyone going into education.
Thank you for opening up the world so I can be scared about our students
and their futures! I needed
to hear this critical information."
– M. Beatty, L.D. Teacher,
presentation itself was amazing…As you spoke the faces of a number of the
children I have worked with came to mind and I left determined to find ways to
lift some of this shame… knowing I didn't have to take notes, that it would
all be available on the web site was extremely freeing.”
- D. Smith, Educator, Lubbock IDS, TX
"David Boulton spoke after lunch and no one went to sleep. Everyone was
very aware of his passionate presentation and enjoyed it greatly. He was
great and the videos that he utilized were very moving. The information
was outstanding! It was very convincing to our group of educational
leaders. Keep up the great project." - J.
Simmons, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators
"Since working with special education in the middle school level for
several years I am well aware that reading is our number one problem and
through your research and presentation it will give all educators a
voice that if proclaimed loud enough may be heard. Wish it could
be seen by everyone - parents - and especially those that make
government policy. -
The problem IS CRITICAL - life
threatening as you well explained. I appreciated the history of the
alphabet and our language. Very interesting and an "a-hah" moment! No
wonder we all struggle to one extent or the other. Excellent definition
of reading - and so much more
complicated than most people think- If we know what is involved in the
process how much better we can teach!!!!!
This need to be understood as a big wake up call to all in education and
parents. Would like to see this have more exposure - this is a crisis -
this should be on 60 minutes, 20/20, Oprah - and any other media that
will get the word out.
This is one battle that we can win!!!! For the sake of everyone."
- A. Starkey, Educator, Kansas
"I am a psychologist from
Newark, Ohio, and recently attended your presentation on “The Effect of
Learning to Read Difficulties on Mental Health” at the School-Based
Mental Health conference in Cleveland. As a mental health
practitioner working in schools, I regularly see the effects of learning
problems on children’s mental health. Your presentation however,
informed me at new levels and inspired me to new heights for working
with students’ reading abilities and struggles.
- Dr. B. Bloomster, School Intervention Program Coordinator, Newark,
"Wonderfully put together and backed up by so much
research. Get this wonderful information into the schools for teachers
and parents. What an incredible job... I loved it!"
K. Kull, Kenmore,
"Fantastic! This information needs
to be in the hands of every educator that is involved in teaching people
- P. Leach, Teacher, McAllen, Texas
"Excellent presentation, knowledge of subject, understanding of content
through presenter skills and presentation.
Would like more information and have shared it with my office staff of
Marriage and Family Therapists.
Again, this was excellent, the presenter was excellent, and the
information was of great importance to all members of society."
Children's Service League
"Clear explanations that
do not focus on the blame game but work toward solutions. This was a
tremendous awakening! This much needed information must be spread to the
masses!" - B. Smyzer,
with everything that was presented.
It made a lot of sense.
I found it comforting to now be able to tell my struggling readers
(including my granddaughter) that "It's not your fault." I know there is
a connection between learning and how you feel about it, but I'm not
sure I ever put as much emphasis on that issue as now I know I should."
– C. Perry Davis, Henry County School District, MO
"I had never heard so
much expertise in one seminar. Excellent presentation." -
A. Mares, Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg, Texas
"I was extremely
impressed by Mr. Boulton's knowledge on the subject of literacy and the
extensive research he had done. His analysis of factors contributing to
the problem of illiteracy was highly interesting and in some cases new
to me. It was a riveting session."
L. Taylor, Broward County, Florida
was a skilled presenter with a passion for understanding the problem of dyslexia
and the children affected by it. I particularly appreciated his approach to the
emotional toll this learning difference takes on individuals for their entire
lives.” – C. Watt,
"This was an exceptional presentation. We can all relate to and walk
away empowered because of the excellent organization of your
presentation and wealth of knowledge and information. Thank you."
- T. Farmer, Alabama State Department of Education, Birmingham, AL
"I recently attended one
of the seminars and I thought it was fabulous. The presenter was great.
He did a great job on condensing down the information into our time
format." - S. Brodersen, School
"Highly informative presentation with good blend of in person and video.
Understanding the background of historical influences on the
English language and the challenges those present for learning to read
were important and unknown to most of us.
I was very impressed with your ability to touch people in the audience
with the importance of reading and the shame associated with the
struggle." - Penny
Dorpinghaus, Educator, Kansas
"Extremely thought provoking! I really never thought about reading in
the way I now am. Thank you!" - G. Willis,
Gerald Adams Elementary School, Key West, Fl
This was great! You are right on target. As a parent of a dyslexic child
and an educator I feel that your message needs to be shared with entire
communities. - A.
Burton , International Dyslexia Association, Board Member, North
"I loved this seminar! It
is a whole new way of looking at these issues." -
M. Hord, Clay County
Literacy Coalition, Orange Park, Florida
is a lot to think about. I know I'll do a better job teaching reading,
of course I'd like to know more about strategies to use that would help
students struggling to read and comprehend. Great background knowledge!
This information would be very helpful for preschools, daycares,
churches, etc. in addition to parents. We should persue every avenue of
– A. M. Randolph,
"Absolutely wonderful! Can't
wait to see/hear more-inspired me to pick up my rate of research and
learning on topic as an Academic Language Therapist and a Resource Room
Director for k-12 students."
- L. Schmidt,
"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 than in all my college courses on language."
- B. Gallagher, Niagara Falls,
information connecting the structure and the history of the alphabet or the
"Code" with the natural rhythm of learning and the disconnect that can
occur in the brain was fascinating. The
development of what Boulton called Mindshame has a numbing effect and stops any
learning in its tracks. "Why should I try? I am stupid and can't learn it
anyway." I hear it regularly. It is the most difficult thing to make this
child believe he can learn and be successful. To understand and stop the
Mindshame in its beginning would be an advance little short of miraculous. The
devastating effect of the Mindshame which occurs when the process is not
immediately successful has encouraged me to take training in dyslexia to be able
to offer what assistance I can within my junior high (7-9) classroom.
We can and should correct the lack of information and hope the information will
begin to spread like the contagions of disinterest and lack of concern have.”
– G. Black,
Junior High School
have GREAT info. I totally agree with it all.
I enjoyed the presentation.
There was a great deal of info.
I like all of the interviews. Great info for parents! Thank you for
sharing your info. with
School Psychologists!!" -
K. O'Toole, School Psychologist, Omaha, NE
"You are doing a great service - you are a voice crying in the
wilderness about a problem that is very real right now & is only going
to get worse (given the ongoing demographic changes of the US) AND you
are presenting the way to help (rather than just admiring the problem!)
you've done (& continue to do) outstandingly well!!! good show! good
work!" - Dr. B.
Stone, Psychologist, Kansas
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 learned.
It is life changing!
- G. Hyde, San Francisco, California
Literacy Conference Keynote
"Wonderful presentation. Great to get teachers who are not reading
specialists to understand the code and teaching reading."
K. Kuehn, Amherst, New York
"This should have been a 3-day conference allowing us to immerse our
brains to facilitate adjusting our paradigms! Thank you so much!"
- Judy Ann Greene,
"This was one of the best literacy presentations I have ever seen!"
- A. Ryan, Success by 6-United Way, Buffalo, New
thought the speaker, David Boulton was very interesting and right on
target. It certainly is not about a methodology or program or curriculum
but rather a focus on the "first person" learning. I appreciated the
tone and interest in helping the audience become more aware of why we
need to be concerned about this national disability in reading."
L. Anderson, Educator, Granville, OH
was a very powerful experience for me. At several points of the event
and in many of the video clips I felt as though you knew that I needed
to hear this information for some specific students I have in my class
right now. The videos of the children speaking about their feelings hit
my heart like a ton of bricks. I realized I haven't asked the struggling
readers in my class what they feel like and what they think will help
them. I will definitely do this. This presentation gave me such a huge
wake up call as to the importance of not letting this get passed on for
another year for these children."
- Tracy Musil 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher,
Burnaby School District
project has the potential to revolutionize how America thinks about
literacy. Every citizen in America needs to hear this message and make a
commitment to address the problem."
- L. Page-Williams
"It was a very enlightening experience...overall I enjoyed the
presentation and found the presenter David Boulton to be very
enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his area."
- M. Tankard, Hartt
“I sat there with
a-ah moment with what is happening in my home right now with my 6 old year son
and the shame he is having struggling to read. Thank you I needed this!” –
J. Dugan, Samnorwood ISD,
"Excellent, eye opening, informative, thought provoking - should have
been all day or more.
- S. Mojica, Jericho,
very enlightening presentation, somewhat disturbing but also empowering
in the sense that we see the option to address literacy failures from a
different perspective. I am
excited about the prospect of having this information become more
common knowledge. I was truly impressed with the content
and style of this presentation.
The topic is probably one of the most crucial of our times, if
not THE most crucial." -
Agius, Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina
"We are all children of the code. The seminar provided information on
how to view the reading problem in a new perspective."
- Z. Garza, Mission,
"Presenter was wonderful - knowledgeable and
eloquent. Great video clips." -
C. Lee, Kenmore, New York
"Fascinating. Helps me tomorrow in the classroom."
- S. Shunkwiler, Columbus, Ohio
talked about so many things that I have thought about for years, but have never
really put words to it. I know the devastating damage shame causes in students
of any age. As a dyslexic therapist, I have students enter my program whipped by
the system of school. The downward spiral of shame is alive and well in our
school system. It breaks my heart. I
feel like ALL teachers and parents need to hear your message.“ –
J. Hoffman, Educator, Panhandle ISD, Panhandle, TX
Boulton verbalized all the difficulty I have been experiencing with getting my 7
year old daughter to read and why. My daughters struggles with reading
felt like I was looking down the barrel of a gun. She is in 2nd grade and if she
couldn't get the reading how was she going learn to be able to do anything else,
how was she going to be able to take a test in science... I can truly see that
what she has learned is interfering with her learning. I feel as though I can't
even begin to apologize to my daughter for shoving her in this downward spiral
of shame. I see it in everything she does and every sense of her being. All that
I go though trying to "teach" her now makes perfect sense. She has
learned she such great avoidance techniques that I felt as if she was doing
these things to me, now I know that it is because she is confused and
frustrated. I now feel empowered to do everything I can to make learning a success
and try to repair the damage that has been done. I am so grateful that I was
able to hear David Boulton speak. I felt like he was speaking directly to me
about my child after I had given him her whole history. I desperately want to
help my child learn how to learn by constructing a stairway to create success
for her... Thank you, Thank you, Thank you." -
C. Cecchini, Parent, Lodi, CA
for two excellent sessions, the keynote address and our afternoon meeting at the
SC Conference on June 29 2010. I found the information extremely interesting. I
was especially interested in the connection you’ve made between frustration
with reading difficulties, ensuing shame and avoidance mechanisms, and
subsequent behavior problems that erupt from the school environment into the
home and society. Now that I’ve listened to you I wonder how I’ve spent more
than twenty years in the classroom and not clearly identified the process or the
cause myself. So thank you for perceiving, articulating, and putting a human
face on troubling observations all teachers have been party to. Because of your
insights, I will focus more on reading difficulties and be on the lookout for
indications of trouble. I teach ninth and twelfth graders, so I anticipate a
high level of skill in deception and avoidance at this level, but I know some
things now to look for and some ways to ease the emotional burden as well as
help with the literacy skills." -
Diane Crenshaw, Dixie High School, Due West, S.C.
presentation! As I listened to your presentation, faces of students kept
appearing in my head. It made me think about the students I see in school every
day and what they are learning, not just in class, but wherever they happen to
be. (the Downward Spiral of Shame) was the best part of the day. It truly made
me think about what happens to children on a regular basis in school.
The video clips were excellent and added to your presentation.” -
P. Shields, Educator, Morton ISD,
very impressed with your presentation...from my point of view, your
presentation, film and speaker, were outstanding. I just really think
your presentation was top rate. I do wish you success, the most success.
In fact, should you succeed, the benefits will certainly accrue to us
all." - J.
Stirton, First Unitarian Church of Oakland
"Looked at reading with a
whole new perspective."
- B. Guerra, Teacher, McAllen, Texas
a very interesting approach and I could see many applications that will
work to assist the students I work with daily.
I appreciate the time for this workshop but it was too much
information for the time alloted and I would like to have it be a two
day workshop to aide learning.
It was great to hear that you have defined the problem so well. We need
to do more to eliminate the "Blame" of all who are concerned, i.e.,
students, parents, teachers and caregivers.
Thank you for your presentation."
– L. Boddy,
"It was very informative
and professional. Administrators should be mandated to see and become
aware of this major issue. Thank you."
- S. Perez, Teacher, Escandon Elementary
was the best lecture at the series in years. Certainly the most relevant to
every teacher in schools today.” – L.
Kilchenstein. Educator, Kermit ISD,
"This is one of the
most insightful and educational presentations I have even attended.
This is dealing with a crisis right now and has many solutions and visions for
The child is at the center of all this research and this will prove very
helpful for all Learners.
I am most grateful for this blessing and I know it will transform our lives in
ways we cannot now envision. All the
are now empowered with this information. Thank you.
" - Judy McLeod, Teacher, Parent,
Burnaby School District
"I just heard David Boulton
speak last night at a short workshop and I am totally reeling. I've been
researching and working on Early Literacy for about 5 years now, and
this new piece just fascinates me. He is pulling together people from
even more diverse fields of study to delve into why it's so hard for
kids to learn to read, and also why it sets them up for failure in life.
One piece I have not yet heard about is the downward spiral of
embarrassment and shame and what that does to a person. If you start at
such a young age feeling shame at being confused over learning, it can
literally derail your brain in such a fashion that it incapacitates you.
I need to know more! The implications of this are nearly overwhelming!
For more info check out website."
- C. Williams,
Columbus Public Library
Definitely we all agree 100%, all teachers need to see this presentation
so they can acknowledge how bad the problem is. -
V. Ochoa, Teacher, Elsa, Texas
found your lecture and adept information amazing. Thank you for you for
your professionalism. You are an academic treat!!!
- R. Moyer - Special Educator, St. Petersburg, Fl
think discussing healthy and unhealthy learning was a very good way to present
this information and to get attention placed on what is really important in the
instruction of students to read. I appreciated the fact that your reason for
studying the problems associated with learning to read was solely that of
solving the problem. As a parent of a dyslexic child I especially appreciated
the fact that you address the shame involved with poor reading. I plan to use
your information to further educate and inform those parents and teacher with
whom I work.” -
R. Patterson, Parent,
thoroughly enjoyed attending your presentation.
I would have liked to have heard more, an hour and 15 minutes was not
sufficient. I enjoyed the video
excerpts from economists, professors, students, etc. I agree with most everything
here... particularly how well students learn is more important than what they
know. The points of adaptive vs. maladaptive learning was impressive.
I agree that people avoid situations to prevent them from feeling shame,
confused, etc. The connection with drugs, eating disorders, etc also was
impressive. The videos of the children make you stop and think."
- E. McCleskey
, Communities In
Site Coordinator, Greenville, S.C.
seminar progressed I got a much better grasp of the direction, scope and
layers of this very important, life changing research." -
could have attended a longer meeting because I learned so much in the
three hours I was there. I am very impressed by the whole project. I
have taught in public schools for thirty years, and I saw these issues
in the classroom every day, but I didn't have words to describe them,
nor could I see the whole scope of the problem. Reading the COTC's
interviews helps me understand the big picture in a more organized way.
I don't see anyone else doing what you are accomplishing right now. I
encourage you to push on. I hope you get the satisfaction necessary to
further investigate this most interesting situation. You are providing
original research and distributing it in such a way that thousands will
learn from it."
- D. Martin, Publisher "Fine Lines", English Professor, Omaha, NE
really enjoyed the History and the multifaceted impact reading has on
future success. Your presentation of basic vs proficiency was excellent.
I used this immediately on Monday in my classroom.
History gives context.
It was excellent, easily repeatable. Understanding neurological
function is important. I
recognize in my students now when they are not really all-systems-go in
the learning arena."
- M. Petersen,
Liberal Arts, Wichita
"WHOA, what a dumb*** moment" at the Symposium Jan 29th at Winston was
when your words made me realize knowing my son has these issues, that I still
sometimes get mad at him when he can't get through his homework (adding to the
shame). I've been asking God for an answer, and came across the symposium the
week of. What a blessing!” -
R. Ramos, Parent,
of the Code" conference keynote and subsequent hour-long seminar were
simply phenomenal and a direct answer to a VERY specific prayer I had proctored
in regard to further understanding language and words. For years, and especially
here recently, I had been hungry for and craving more information to further
delineate the research and delve deeper into the science of language/words and
how the brain works. David Boulton, Children of the Code, and all the
correlating sources, documentation, and videos are a TRUE and very specific
answer to that prayer. I am still exploring the information and the website, and
I am SO EXCITED to incorporate these findings and the research into how and what
I teach the students. - J.
Wells, North Myrtle Beach High School, Little River, S.C.
"GREAT PRESENTATION. My
overall experience was very enlightening and powerful...gave me a deeper
understanding of the brain and how it relates to the way children
struggle with reading and learning. Listening to the videos of the
children's thoughts and feelings was very emotional for me. Hence, my
thoughts and attitude towards children has now been transformed to a
more healthy approach to communicating and interacting with children."
- L. Robinson, Educator, Bermuda
"Excellent presentation! Extremely helpful information inspiring me to
continue the fight for students having difficulty learning to read, in
new ways. The wealth of web information you offer is fantastic."
- M. Matesich, Granville Education
Association, Granville, OH
loved the emphasis on early oral language development.
As a parent of dyslexic children, I knew I had raised them in a
language rich environment with a great deal of participatory language
opportunities. In spite of that they had reading problems.
But they have escaped the cycle of shame.
I always wondered why.
You pointed out that another benefit for children from a language rich
environment was that they also had a deeper level of emotional
That was very affirming to me as a parent.
I have often blamed myself for their reading failure, thinking I
had not done enough even though I did everything I knew at the time.
You helped me see that I had made a difference."
- S. Mitchell, Reading Teacher,
information was certainly powerful and I walked away with a new awareness of
several key components about learning that I can use in my programming and
" - Elizabeth Sauerbrey,
Library, Greenville, S.C.
there are so many videos on the website, I was expecting they would take up the
majority of the conference time, so I was pleasantly surprised by how
beautifully they were interspersed throughout the presentation. The effect of
the entire presentation was profound and lasting. Though I have been exposed to
the children of the code videos through my Reading Science Graduate Program at
The College of Mount St. Joseph in
, this presentation helped tie many pieces together for me. [The description of
reading was] very uniquely presented; gained more insight from this piece than I
thought I would as someone who works with dyslexic and differently-abled
students daily. I loved the player piano analogy.” -
C. Arnold, Children’s
"Thank you so much for this wonderful overview of reading challenges.
I found it highly interesting and pertinent to my own past
reading development, as well as my
passion to help my own children learn to read, and
possible future efforts to teach again in the public school
system. I was a
child/adult who struggled to read, so you really hit home with me!
Thank you so much. I hope
and pray you can gain national attention to this reality.
Again, thank you, and may God bless your work!"
- E. Palethorpe, Parent and Educator
"I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and feel that I have gained some
insight and a new perspective about reading and writing and the teaching
of these two subject areas.
I was impressed by the fact that Mr. Boulton was not looking for someone
– J. Bertz, Special Education Teacher,
School District, Lexington
"It was great to go through the history. I gained
a much clearer view of the current state of our reading crisis
Anonymous, New York
"We always need to know where we’ve started from to know where we’re
- S. Smart, Broadview, Illinois
"Fascinating! I didn’t know any of this. I always thought English
spelling was a conspiracy."
- M. Fehskens, Westerville, Ohio
important to know the foundation in order to change the current
- J. Maxson, Evanston, Illinois
"Understanding the code is critical, history was
R. Brock, Tonawanda,
District Professional Development Keynote
"The Children of the Code
seminar offered valuable insights about the historical, cognitive, and
social factors that have contributed to the present literacy crisis in
America. Through detailed analysis of the history of the English
language, the seminar establishes that English is an artificial code
that produces an artificial form of confusion in some learners. When
students are socialized to associate that confusion with shame, their
chances of gaining an appropriate literacy level are severely
The seminar left me considering the type of context I
create in my literature and writing classrooms. To what extent does the
atmosphere in my classroom enable the students to embrace language, to
enage with the words and ideas on the printed page? How might practices
that unintentionally inculcate shame and shut down the learning
- Dr. N. Lape, Associate Professor of Language and Literature,
Interim Director of the Writing Center, Columbus State University,
section was excellent! This message needs to be brought to ALL teachers
(general ed and special ed). Downward spiral of shame is also an
- T. Ross, Albany, New York
presentation was different than the usual "specific learning/teaching"
conferences I usually attend....specifically on vocabulary, comprehension, etc.
For me it was very engaging because you are very engaging as a speaker and then
you have so many visuals/videos to "pop in" here and there. I wish
every educator and administrator could hear you talk about the "shame"
associated with not being able to read.” –
Branch of the IDA
cried internally for myself while I heard your presentation! More than
half of my life has been spent covering up the difficulty I have with
reading (both in English and Spanish, my native language)."
- M. Antonia Pinon, Miami, Florida
conference was presented very well and I have gained a renewed interest
in the subject. As a
school nurse who is presently pursuing a degree in early childhood
education "Children of the Code" offered insightful information
regarding the impact of literacy.
Thank you for offering this seminar."
- K. Mason, School Nurse
gave me a lot to think about. I will explore more of the ideas you presented on
the website. I wish I could have listened to you for another hour! It was very
powerful - especially because I had a conversation with a student just last week
that was rooted in this very struggle with shame. I had already given it a lot
of thought, but now have a greater sense of needing to remove whatever/however I
am contributing to the shame so that he can learn. The most gut wrenching moment
is the student's feeling of shame at that "stutter" but it has many
layers packed into it. Have a greater appreciation for the cognitive demand that
is necessary for reading and writing in English. I had not really thought about
how much easier it would be if there truly were a 1-to-1 correspondence between
letter and sound. I do see how it would greatly reduce the occurrence of the
problems that I have viewed as dyslexia.”
– M. Farner,
"Very interesting presentation.
Excellent information presented to support the belief that stewarding
the health of the learner is the most important social responsibility of
our society. Felt use
of short video clips was an excellent method of keeping audience
attention followed up by a brief summary by David Boulton.
Seeing actual individuals who suffered from reading problems and
what it did to their lives and self-esteem was very moving and made the
information so much more believable/human. Loved the emphasis on
the confusion of the brain and how functionally if the brain is spending
a lot of time decoding their is just not enough processing power left
over for comprehension etc...
This whole seminar made me realize what a miracle it is that most of us
can read/write to begin with.
Extremely interesting!!" -
S. Hendrick, Parent, Bermuda
think the information you shared is extremely important especially at a
time when government organizations are attacking schools and saying we
aren't doing enough. If
every teacher could hear this information, the approach to teaching
reading may change. I like
the idea that a certain reading program is not the answer to success but
the understanding of what is happening to children during our teaching
and the factors that lead to a child becoming an unsuccessful reader.
Once that is understood, the approach a teacher takes with any
reading program, can be the success factor for a student.
Very interesting and very helpful." - K. A.
O'Grady, Payne Elementary, Wichita
general message (Healthy Learning) being spread is something that everyone needs
to hear and understand in order to maximize the learning and success of future
generations. This is critical to the future of our society as a whole! I
thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and cannot begin to put into words how
powerful it was to examine the concept of reading with a whole new set of eyes.
The one-day experience was remarkable and unforgettable!"
– J. Shirron, Teacher,
"Three hours only whetted my appetite. It was an "aha" moment. It
included so many facets of the cause and contributing factors of the
problem that I have never explored. This will help me in my role as a
Reading Specialist and as a member of the Intervention Assistance Team.
I say "Preach on!"- D. Murphy, Liberty
Elementary School, Powell, OH
attended many trainings on literacy, but never had the information been
presented in this context. Excellent!"
- S. Berkley, Pre-K coordinator, Chicago Youth Centers
believe I learned a lot during David's presentation.
It was highly informative, interactive and engaging.
The material was presented in a logical manner that built the proper
background to allow for a more in-depth understanding of the problem we face
with children learning how to read. I
believe it was the first presentation I've been to that did not focus on
solutions to teaching how to read; rather, the presentation focused on causes,
or the why, which is such a crucial element to understand before generating a
"how" to fix it. [The
shame] section hit on a concept that I knew, but did not know well enough to
incorporate into my classroom. I
know that I do not intentionally create situations to shame my students, but by
ignorantly pushing antiquated pedagogy onto them, I was creating shameful
situations. I found this section to
generate the most amount of self-reflection, which is the key part for me to
develop as an educator. Very, very
– M. Gehman, Teacher,
"This presentation should have been first as a framework for all our
learning for 3 days." ( Lindamood Bell Conference Presentation)
E. Fuentes, Long Beach, New York
"The information presented was/is very important. It helped me to
understand (from a different point of view) why it is so difficult for
some children to read."
R. Lilienthal, Sanborn, New York
really enjoyed the presentation. I think it was very eye-opening for a
lot of educators that lack the psychology background to understand how
maladaptive illiteracy can be for children."
N. Edwards, Educator,
"This presentation gave a very in-depth look at the problems with
literacy, its origin, and the solution to the problem. Gave a new way to
view and understand the overall process of attaining literary
comfortability, which leads to excellence in reading. This seminar
opened my eyes to a lot of elements involved in reading and
understanding that I didn’t really pay that close attention to."
- F. Lloyd-Hawkins, Chicago, Illinois
was all very helpful and informative.
I could have listened much longer if possible!
3 hours really doesn't do this justice.
I hope to have more exposure to what you are doing. Thanks for
." - K. McCoskey,
that the presentation was both informative and empowering while also addressing
the current realities that our children, families, and educators are dealing
with. While there were no "quick-fixes" or "magic bullets"
to the work, it did reinforce the importance of 1.)both the home and the larger
community roles in the success of children, 2.) the challenges and limitations
in the current curriculum format that we are teaching children today, and 3.)
needing to provide the most effective teaching strategies given that the
advancements in science, information, and technology is at a rate faster than
curriculum can be developed, approved, and adopted. I just want to say that I am
grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this presentation and
hear all of the important information and discussion surrounding the current
state of education, particularly literacy. I acquired great strategies and tools
I can now apply and utilize in my classroom to support student success and
minimize confusion and shame. In addition, I have more perspective on and
greater understanding of the complexities of the English Language, concerns and
barriers children face on their journey to literacy, and the impact that each
and every interaction and experience has on the development of a child. Thank
you!" - C. Clarke,
Teacher, LodiUSD, Lodi CA
"Awesome information presented that helps in understanding the reading
process." - S. Vidal, Teacher, Elsa, Texas
have never thought of the scope of the issues about reading that were
expressed here. The history was very interesting and helpful. I think
that this presentation has just made me a candidate for a reading
specialist program, even though I teach science."
- M. Brunses
"Thank you for your
provocative presentation to the librarians in Chicago. Over the course
of the next days' workshops and the remainder of the conference we heard
many remarks about how you "set the tone" for the conference by
reminding us what we are up against. While librarians have actively
worked to incorporate diverse ideas and practices, being reminded of the
"shame" issue brings much of our work into clearer focus."
J. Nelson, Youth Services Coordinator, Pierce County Library System
conference was an impressive introduction to your work. It really wetted
my appetite to want to learn more, and it offered a lot of information
for reflection. Those in education are becoming inoculated with hearing
calls of "No Child Left Behind." But this message transcends that call.
It takes a broader view of illiteracy than just what is happening in
schools, instead looking at the problem from the viewpoint of society
and individual implication.
The information presented about the alphabetic code was fascinating. The
examples given at the end of the presentation showing one letter of the
alphabet -- and all of the various sounds that one letter can make are
very powerful. I think every parent, every teacher, every school board
member, every administrator needs to see just a few of those
examples....to better understand the complexity of the problem."
- M. Adcock, Buhler
"The workshop material
was fantastic. While I'm not at all a history buff, the historical
aspects of the struggle with the code, was fascinating to me! When you
look at things from the perspective of "How did we get here," rather
than ONLY "what do we do about it," you can explain & troubleshoot &
problem-solve WITH BUY-IN FROM THOSE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE (and
isn't buy-in an enormous practical aspect of problem-solving?) with
greater efficiency & positive outcomes! I am so grateful to you
for bringing in the emotional factor. So many times, when we talk about
this with our teachers and support personnel and even administrative
staff, they look at us like we're 3-headed! It is just so refreshing to
hear someone eloquently and IN SUCH A REALM OF PRACTICALITY say that
this is a huge part of the problem! Quite good, complete, practical, and
NECESSARY information for teachers and administrators!" -
S. Frame ERBA Head Start, Greenup, Illinois
Lindamood-Bell International Conference
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 in Columbus, Georgia. 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 presentation."
- C. Taylor, Reading
First Literacy Coach, Stewart County Elementary School, Lumpkin, Georgia
"Overall workshop was
knowledgeable and informative and eye opening."
- R. Quadri, Chicago, Illinois
"Train more teachers and
school systems who do not believe what information was given today is
important and true." -
L. Yates, YWCA Chicago
enjoyed the seminar. I found it very informative and educational."
- S. Fitzgerald, Erie Family Health, Chicago, Illinois
"This was fabulous and I
keep referring back to it! My 13 year old son loved it too! We thought
it was just totally enlightening. Our light bulbs went on!"
- H Nelson, Parent,
am so glad I came to the seminar. It was a wonderful overview of the
projects work. It made me think about this coming school year with a
whole different perspective."
- R. Johnigan, Mno Grant Elementary, Antioch,
visual displays, presenter, and videos held my attention throughout the
presentation. The event was very
informative and affirmed some previous beliefs about shame's effect on students.
The event gave me a better understanding of what is involved in the
process of reading. There is more to
reading than just knowing phonics. The
presentation opened my eyes to the fact that each child is wired to learn
and studying in an academic setting is just one part of the learning process.
I never thought about unhealthy learning. The
emphasis is so heavily placed on learning - period, that we fail to realize that
there is a negative side to learning." -
I. Byrd, Educator,
"Thoughtful – good for all audiences (adult teachers, child teachers,
family teachers). Many do not understand that reading is not automatic
- R. Dunn, Volunteer Florida
applaud your dedication to this growing concern. Usually we hear of
people talking about the problem, placing blame solely on us “over paid”
teachers – not trying t do anything about it. Thank you."
- K. Stewart, Wilson, New York
"Excellent work. Very exciting and challenging information presented. In
, there is a crisis in the learning of children. The drop out rate is
Future conferences should include Justice, Corrections, and Substance
Abuse agencies. More effort should be directed at enlisting the
Educators and leaders of the nation/Island - would like to see more
workshops like this for parents and children as well as schools."
Deally-Grzybowski, Department of Court Services, Bermuda
"Thank you so much for
allowing those of us from Ft. Rucker, Alabama, the opportunity to attend
the seminar. It was very informative, thought-provoking, and presented
- R. GreyBull, Ft. Rucker Elementary Schoo, Ft. Rucker, Alabama
seminar was excellent in explaining why our alphabet is so difficult for
many learners to decode. The history behind how we ended up with the
alphabet we presently use lays a good foundation to understand our
literacy challenges we face today. Also, the emotional implications of
not being able to keep up with peers was very insightful.
The presentation did a very good job describing the problem and
conveying the magnitude of the problem. The presentation was very
powerful in conveying to me where students are coming from and the
importance of being in sync with the child. Thank you!"
- N. Inmon, Jury Farrar & Associates, Liberal, KS
"This topic has
changed the way in which I will now view language and how it is
incorporated into some of our agency’s literacy based programs."
Berkley, Pre-K coordinator, Chicago Youth Centers
"This was a wonderful
presentation important to all educators."
Then, Williamsville, New York
"I was a recent
participant in the Children of the Code seminar in our state. The
seminar provided excellent information on the foundations of language
and helped many of us reach deeper understandings of why so many
children experience difficulty learning to read. Thank you for providing
thought-provoking material that enriched our understanding of our
language and encouraged us to learn more about children of the code.
- M. D. Holbrook, Education Administrator, Alabama State
Department of Education
"I just want to thank you
for ALL of this brain food last night! I am so thrilled to be able to understand
the particulars of learning and how everything in this society connects to it. I
am very interested in being the first person that teaches my child based on your
theories. I am also very interested in any type of information that may help me
along this path including any recommendations on books that you personally found
intriguing. I did jot down a few last night off your presentation board, however
I would like to see which you would personally recommend. I have three boys 3,10
& 11 whom don’t really care for reading, however I AM going to change
that!" - M Reyna,
Parent, Lodi, Ca
was fascinated with the subject: your presentation was both enlightening
and reinforcing for observations that I had made over my years of
teaching. I do believe teachers at every level need to have a functional
knowledge of the information from this seminar; with such knowledge,
then we all need to make a commitment to change. Thank you for a
wonderful and thought-provoking session."
- L. Bender,
"The Code and the
Challenge of Learning to Read It seminar provided an interdisciplinary
overview of various beliefs about learning to read. A deliberate and
meaningful common thread throughout the seminar emphasized the shame
factor that poor readers and nonreaders must endure."
- Dr. S. Miller, Associate Professor of Education, Coordinator,
Graduate Reading Endorsement Programs, Columbus State University,
"This is the kind of information that I believe can truly help parents,
educators, homeschool parents, etc., begin to get rid of hidden
attitudes that spread the debilitating and often unintentional use of
shame when they are frustrated in helping struggling readers.
We do need to stop and listen to each individual and keep trying
to assess their needs. I am excited to learn more and hope that you will
continue your research and find ways to get the information in the hands
of people who will use it.
Thank you!" - D.
was a wonderful presentation and although I had been following your
website for several years, hearing it in person was so educational.
I thought the area on the Shame was very powerful and very
important for EVERYONE to understand.
- G. Andeel,
"David’s passion for this needs to be bottled and sold. Thank you!
- L. Hannum, Schaumburg, Illinois
"I felt this was very important to the state of
literacy in this country." -
A. Scordo, West
Seneca, New York
National Conference on Family Literacy Seminar
"I want to thank CSU for
bringing this very important program to central Georgia and for
providing educators across our state the opportunity to impact education
in such a profound way. Through David Boulton’s presentation, educators
must now realize our duty to transform the way we look at the teaching
of reading, how we can best reach all children, and how we can prevent
our children from languishing in the shame of illiteracy. I look forward
to a day when not only is “no child left behind” but also when no child
fears the written words and no child is ashamed of his/her ability or
inability to break the written code. I am truly thankful for the
opportunity to be a part of this transformation."
Brewer Callier, 8th Grade Reading Teacher, NBCT 2002, Taylor
County Middle School, Butler, Georgia
"This information is very
helpful in prioritizing our goals. As I listened to the children on your
PowerPoint presentation name their struggle and the resulting
self-doubt, tears came...Thank you for unpackaging this problem for us
and for working toward raising awareness as to how this phenomenon we
call reading seems to take place. I learned a lot from your presentation
and look forward to learning a lot more from your website and will pass
it on myself in any way I can."
- C. Lopez,
Educator, Jefferson Davis Parish Public Schools, LA
"I was extremely
interested throughout the talk. I am a physical therapist and I attended
the conference mainly to hear the PT who was presenting. I was not
expecting to find the talk as interesting and relevant as I did. I left
feeling quite shocked and much more informed about the importance of
this issue." - L.
Garrett, Physical Therapist, Child Development Programme, Bermuda
was most impressed the amount of information presented in such a short
and writing are such important school subjects for all yet i do not see
enough time spent with student s to unlock the confusion the subjects
teacher/parent/grandparent should see this over and over to further help
students with their difficulties."
- D. Storm, retired
"This seminar was
very informative. My passion for helping those who cannot read was
rekindled. My hope is that something wonderful comes out of this. I am
looking forward to follow up sessions."
- M. Hamby, Media Specialist, Muscogee
County School District, South Columbus Elementary School
"I sincerely want to thank Mr. Boulton for
bringing this issue to the forefront - it is long overdue."
M. Miller, Belfast,
"I felt that the presentation really took the audience “back to the
basics”. Information and comments by experts that related to the history
of our alphabet were reassuring one hand and thought-provoking on the
other." - Dr. B. Williams, Associate
Professor, Teacher Education, Columbus State University, Columbus,
"Half day is not sufficient for all of your valuable information.
This information is vital to be presented to government and the
general public as well as educators."
- K. VanDeest,
"Awesome information presented that helps in understanding the reading
process." - S. Vidal,
Teacher, Elsa, Texas
"Excellent information - the material presented
was thought provoking and very clearly defined. There needs to be a
national conversation and commitment to teaching reading as a way of
gathering information. I really loved the overview of research and
correlation of findings." -
Anonymous, Buffalo, New
"Excellent information. I
wish I could have brought a bus load of teachers with me.
How can I share the info with them? Is there a video of the
event? Please let me know.
Please let me know when you will be back."
Parent, Little River
"Wonderful training with powerful information for administrators,
teachers and parents."
- H. Trevino, Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg, Texas
"Entire seminar was very interesting and
J. Heath, Cheektowaga, New York
"Thanks for pulling together lots of aspects and providing a new way to
look at the problems we face in teaching children to read.
- Janice Stockman, Prattville, AL
information was presented in a professional and interesting way. I liked not
having Powerpoint slide handouts. I was actively listening and enjoyed the
discussions. David Boulton is a fantastic speaker. Thank you for sharing your
hard work and powerful message with us in Lodi, CA."
- J. Blount, Teacher, LodiUSD, Lodi, Ca
"Societal change is definitely needed--your message and work is of the
- K. Zimmerman, ESL Teacher, Racine, Wisconsin
"I was at one of your seminars (Illinois Action for Children) and my
stomach was turning with excitement and anxiety as I watched the videos
of the emotional effect reading difficulties play in a child's life. I
saw my son, who as of today will not go any farther in his education -
who vowed not to ever go to college, because of 'learning problems'."
- Y. Coates, Parent and Educator, Chicago Illinois
all should be extremely proud of the work you are doing.
As a mother with a child who has Dyslexia, and as a future
teacher, you have given me so much more insight into the issues at hand
that I want to help make a difference in the lives of my own children
and the students I will be teaching."
- K. Bell, Parent and Educator
"This was an amazing journey.
Thank you for the research and for delivering it in a powerful manner.
The complete conference was a '10' - but, 3 hours was not quite
enough! Working to
disseminate the information you have garnered must be a daunting task.
Keep on keeping on!
- C. Thompson,
Fundamental Learning Center, Kansas
"My overall experience was shock about the vivid truth that was shared
yet a relief to be validated about my very own hardships that I've had
over many years of my life. The information was presented impeccably, it
was very well organized so it all made sense even though only a short
version of a longer presentation was available in the amount of time we
had. I find your work is very important and greater awareness is needed.
I think you are heading in the right direction as far as I can tell.
Sharing the issues and explaining the problems so clearly, and in such
depth can only wake people up and get them thinking; that's a start.
my understanding of the core problem (or code problem) comes at a
perfect time. I have a great interest in your project and will look
forward to exploring your website more and getting information that may
help me help my children. I appreciate your interest and I'm grateful
that you are making so many people aware of this issue.
The COTC information was an important piece of the puzzle for me.
I'm grateful to you
." - M. Bryson,
Parent, Raleigh N.C.
"The presentation was great for the amount of time slotted for the
speaker. The information that was presented was very thought provoking
and gave you the sense of Wow!" - T.
Harrison, Wayne County School District Office of Special Services,
"David Boulton was the presenter at our convocation in New Britain,
Connecticut. As a teacher and also as a doctoral student I was intrigued
by the information that was presented. Kudos on the fabulous website
where there is so much information and presented in such an engaging
way." - L. Burdick,
Educator, Consolidated School District of New Britain, CT
"Very compelling information! It really made me
think about how we do things in the world of education and how to take
what I got from the presentation and share that with my fellow
educators." - W. Connelly, School
Psychologist, Papillion-LaVista Schools, NE
"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 massive problem?"
- K. Knight, Reading Clinic & Department of Corrections, Bermuda
"There was much
validation of what I already knew but didn't know WHY it worked. The
website is a tremendous resource which I plan to use extensively in
future professional development for my principals and teachers."
- C. Michel, Ed.D. Lafourche Parish School Board, LA
Columbus State University Seminar
Comments from Event
"The most powerful
professional development experience I have ever had.
If you are involved in anyway in teaching children to
read you MUST
attend one of the seminars. This was truly an
awakening for me! I will never look at the reading
process in the same way. Attending this seminar
will help everyone understand better why we have so many
children that struggle when it comes to learning to
Julie Colley Lowery,
Alabama State Department of Education, Special Education
"Working with David and
the COTC group has been the highlight of my career. I have always had a very
deep passion for education and the role educators play in the lives of
children. COTC's message is something we need to listen to very carefully. The
future of our world depends on how well our children learn. David does an
amazing job of spreading this message and motivating people from the inside
out. We have to be connected and committed to our children and pay attention
to world around us. I am eternally grateful for the continued work by COTC and
believe whole heartily in their mission. Their message is most important in
today's world." -
Cassandra Sotelo, Special Ed. Literacy Coach, Lodi Unified School District
"Insightful and informative. A must see for anyone involved
in teaching children to read. This is not a quick fix or
remedy for reading problems, but a thorough scientific
explanation of the entire reading process from leading
experts in a variety of fields. Attending this workshop will
provide a deeper understanding of why children struggle with
reading and what needs to be done to address this crisis in
Karen Kemp, Seminar
Organizer for Council of New York Special Education
Administrators, Director of Special Programs, Cohoes City
"The children of the code brought a
new perspective and insight to our thoughts in this region
on the world of a struggling reader. The presentation told
the story in a way that assisted those in attendance with
gaining an understanding of the need to "break the code" and
what that means for those who can't. The presentations
brought the literacy discussion to the forefront for those
in attendance and the desire to learn more about how to help
people break the code continues. We look forward to
continuing our work with the National Center for Family
Literacy and the Children of the Code."
Associate Superintendent for Instructional Programs and
Services Erie 1 BOCES, West Seneca, New York
"David Boulton is a rock star
of the education world. Not only does he deliver pertinent, current and
evidenced based information to a field that sometimes finds itself drowning in
misinformation, he does so with passion. Combining both straight lecture
with a multi-media web-based presentation, he engaged our participants from
the start and maintained their interest and participation throughout.
Unlike so many other speakers, he did not come with a canned presentation, but
did his homework beforehand finding out about our participants and our
company. The presentation he delivered was crafted to meet our needs making it
that much more meaningful and practical to our members. Adding even
extra depth are the myriad of resources available on the Children of the Code
website. Participants were guided to that site so they could follow up after
the presentation while they were in their schools. A keynote is meant to
energize, inspire and inform and that is exactly what David Boulton does.
We have already booked him to return next year!" -
President, J.P. Associates
"After reflection, I am increasingly
grateful and enthusiastic about the impact of the
presentations you delivered at Columbus State University on
November 30, 2004. The Code and the Challenge of Learning
to Read It
is a powerful professional learning experience. It
communicates multiple messages that challenge the diverse
personal and professional interests of educators on a
variety of engaging levels.
- Elizabeth D. Holmes,
Director, Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, Columbus
comments heard from the registration people, people in our
classes this week, table discussion leaders etc. have been
positive. You made a wonderful contribution. The topics have
stimulated classroom discussions. And, for this to be the
first event for our newly formed College of Education, we
are extremely pleased with the impact made in our community.
You are great. The BIG picture was outstandingly FINE!"
- Linda Koehler,
Professor of Special Education, University of Central
with the Children of the Code staff was one of the most
delightful experiences in establishing staff development.
The support is unbelievable! I was never caught waiting for
a response. Responsiveness is immediate! No one has ever
offered to setup a website to describe training to our
participants. Handouts were made available immediately!
Needs for the event were explicit. On the day of the
training, the run-through went well, and the training was
extraordinary! Six months later, conversations are still
occurring around thoughts from that event. It was the
easiest and best event we have done! Thank you Children of
the Code for outstanding professionalism and customer
service while delivering dynamic, relevant information and
- Mary Ashe, Coordinator, The Literacy Connection -
Project Enlightenment, Raleigh, North Carolina
"The Children of the Code seminar was
provocative. It provided valuable insight on how we've
come to have such low reading reading achievement in our
schools. We followed our seminar with small group
discussion. The presentation by David provided a
catalyst for deep dialogue and discussion among those of us
who care about children's literacy issues in Oakland."
- Zaretta Hamond, President, Community Literacy Initiative,
for bringing the Children of the Code seminar to Chicago’s
early and family literacy community. Being part of such a
sweeping, panoramic view of the complexity of breaking the
code and learning how to read, sparked intense dialogue
among this committed group of Chicago practitioners. I also
appreciated the technical support we received from your
organization—the web page links got the word out in a fast,
- Marta Sánchez,
Family Literacy Project Manager Hull House Chicago, Illinois
Workshops for Teachers
Children of the Code gave a tremendous presentation in our
service center about the importance of knowing how to break
the code for all students, specially our struggling readers.
I really enjoyed the historical background of the functions
of language and how the alphabet symbols came to be part of
the magic of reading. I really hope they continue their
quest to ensure that all stakeholders understand the essence
of learning to read."
- Amy Mares,
M.Ed., Sr. Education Specialist,
was outstanding, to say the least. It regenerated my
interest to evaluate, understand, and find alternative
teaching methods to reading problems more than I can
Susan Carrell, Director, Alice H. James Learning Center,
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
gave us a comprehensive examination of literacy and the
challenges many of our students face when they can’t crack
the code. I really believe our teachers are hungry for these
suggestions for teaching reading and the social change of
education. Conversation could have continued well into the
afternoon on these implications for instruction. I certainly
consider the Children of the Code project and presentation
to be one of the most meaningful and relevant discussions
we, as a staff, have had in the past several years. We were
very pleased with the educational session and look forward
to when we can get you back here to share with a larger
group." - Nell Anderson,
Director ELL/Multicultural/Equity Programs, Wausau School
know of students who feel the shame and this conference made me want to go to
them on Monday and tell them how their brain just works differently and it is
not as easy for them to read, but they will be able to because I am going to do
all I can.” –
M. A. Cunnigan,
Westerville City Schools
delivered to our small district was a thought-provoking and
powerful presentation that emotionally affected, parents,
teachers and community members. Two weeks following the
seminar, people are still talking about it and wanting to
know more. Hopefully this is just the beginning of an
awakening......." - Jane
Pfautsch, Reading Specialist, Granville Schools, Granville,
a pleasure working with you and having you with our group.
The conversations that I have had after the experience have
been very positive with a lot of "thought" going on out
there! Your message was heard and already I have been
in meetings where administrators incorporated their learning
into upcoming presentations and in future planning. Thanks
again for sharing the day with us."
- S. Wood, Director of
Technology and Leadership Development, Oak Hills Local
Schools, Cincinnati, OH
"It was great to
hear more about the struggles that many children are having
breaking the code. All adults in America need to know more
about how difficult it is for many kids to learn to read,
and even more difficult to make them feel good about reading
due to the sense of shame they carry around with them. The
"Children of the Code" presentation is an effective
introduction to why reading instruction--and success in
reading--are a lot tougher than many adults think they are."
- Walter Minkel,
Supervising Librarian, New York Public Library
conference coordinator, I found that David was easy to work
with from the very beginning. The presentation was very well
received. It was informational and engaging. It was a
pleasant experience overall. The challenges society puts on
reading was very interesting. It is an angle that is not
given much importance in other programs. Early reading
readiness skills are so important. We have to get the word
out. You are doing a good job."
- Kyle Hesser, President 2007, Nebraska School Psychologists
District Leadership Seminar
"Working with David Boulton
and the Children of the Code was a wonderful experience. For myself it was a
journey of personal and professional growth. He was meticulous in his planning
and understanding of our own school district's unique place in the literacy
journey. David spent countless hours discussing our particular needs and shaping
his presentation to our audience of educators. There was something in it for
everyone -- elementary and secondary educators, adult educators, and district
The Children of the Code
enterprise brings to us a perspective on student learning that is often not
discussed - the shame that students feel when they can't learn what others do
easily. There is an embarrassment and frustration that can permeate the students
ability to learn. As educators we need to be aware of the struggles of these
learners and the steps that we need to take to help them overcome their past
negative experiences in reading and learning.
The Children of the Code's
message is an important one for educators and parents to hear." -
Dave Eberwein, Director of Instruction, Burnaby Board of Education - School
District #41, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
reminiscent of the medicine men of old, traveling around the
country dazzling audiences with the amazing and unusual. But
David Boulton, Director of the Children of the Code Project,
is no quack doctor and peddles no magic portions. What he
brings is amazing and unusual because, although it sounds
proverbial and so “right”, the truths about how we teach
children to read and write, reveal such amazing flaws, they
are dazzling to the eye and ear.
“How we teach
children to read is based on a “code”, a human invention put
into place by choices made just a few hundred years ago,”
Boulton said during his November seminar in Durham. It is
the ‘operating system’ for the way we run our world yet
reading it is anything but a natural skill. Rather, he
continues, it is a cognitive and emotional challenge for all
children and the source of chronic confusion and frustration
for many who struggle.
unfolds his thesis about the history of the code, its
contemporary use, and the negative statistics it produces
through a lecture supported by video clips from more than
fifty interviews with world-leading scientists, historians,
educators and government leaders. It is impressive,
authentic, indeed, dazzling. But if you’re looking for
a neat and simple "cure" for the ills of teaching reading
and writing, Boulton says, “There is no magic
bullet.” Instead he says we need 'magic glasses' we need a
complete change, a transformation and re-conceptualization
of the way we teach language and reading in our homes,
schools and school systems. He stresses the importance of
oral language because it is a more natural process and
begins before contact with the code."
- Nayo Watkins,
"The seminar was sponsored by The Mekye Center, The
Augustine Project, and North Carolina Central University
School of Education and was presented in cooperation with
the National Center for Family Literacy. For more
information and to read the interviews, go to
rector, the Mekye Center
Laney College Lecture
in awe of the research you have. In my 35 years as an
educator and a reading teacher, I have never read
anything to come close to your findings. Teaching
reading is becoming more of a science than a mystery. Thank you." - G. Robertson,
Director of Elementary and Federal Programs, Autauga
County School System, Al
[Why am I interested?] “Bringing
in neuroscience of learning, how you've tied in the history of written language
to learning, and best of all for me, is taking head on in a most frank manner,
dysteachia!” - C. Williamson, Library
Discovery Charter School
you so much for your fascinating, enlightening, and
thoughtful web site. Not only have I gained insight into
my own field, so have my students."
- M. Duldner, Hunter College, NY
"I use your website at least
once in almost every professional development session I conduct. Love it.
Excellent information for the teachers and administrators. I have never heard
such heart-ripping testimonies put in this kind of format. I intend to use the
social danger clip with my monthly report to a school superintendent this week.
I will also be sending this to the network of school improvement specialist with
whom I work in our state. I will definitely be in touch to let you know how
everyone responds. Thank you for making this accessible to those of us in the
field who are working in failing schools. This will be a vital tool."
- S. Barber, Distinguished
Educator, Morehouse Parish Schools, LA
just wanted to take a minute to tell you how absolutely
wonderful this site is. While earning my reading
specialist credential, I found this site, and signed up
for e-mails. I read every new interview that came across
and marveled at all of the information that you
compiled. About four months ago I changed email
addresses and forgot to sign up for the updates. Anyway,
I just signed up again with my new address and have read
your latest interview and watched the two video
excerpts. All I can say is WOW! I had forgotten how
amazing this site was. I love all of the connections
from one expert to another and the links to rare
vocabulary. I cannot wait to go back and read all of the
interviews that I missed while I was "away". I also want
to say that I appreciate your efforts in presenting both
sides. Thank you so much! Much appreciation,"
- J. Petersen, Irvine Unified School District, Irvine,
"My daughter struggled to
read early on (kindergarten) and was subsequently diagnosed dyslexic. In an
effort to help my daughter I wanted to find out why some people struggled to
read, for me it came easily. I became obsessed with "all things
reading",so much so, that I returned to graduate school to earn a masters
in reading and currently work as a reading specialist/literacy coach in a public
school. Every day I help kids break the code but it is the affective, social and
political aspects of reading that most interest me. I've been reading your sight
for several years and must say, more than any book or article I've read, the
information on this website has influenced how I work with children, how I coach
teachers and most importantly how I reflect upon the difficult journey my
daughter travelled between kindergarten and 12th grade as her initial difficulty
with sounds and letters led to a negative self-perception as a learner that
seeped into all aspects of her life. Your website pulls together diverse
perspectives, respectfully and represents the coming-together of great minds in
the field that must preceed any meaningful change. I am happy to say that my
daughter is now 18 years old and graduating from high school with high grades.
She is hoping to become an educator and help children put their struggles in
perspective. - J. Collins,
Parent, Educator, Schaumburg, Ill
"What an amazing thing you are doing! This is
revolutionary--your concepts, your efforts to gather the
thoughts of others, and the way you are sharing
information so freely on your website. I think we are at
a watershed moment where the non-judgmental recognition
of brain differences could catapult humanity forward to
a better place. What you are working on sits right at
the heart of things--for people, and by extension, for
the planet. I need a little time to think about
this--and then, I hope, I can find a way to help. Thank
you so much for what you are doing!" -
H. Felsing, Citizen, Honolulu, HI
[Why am I interested?] “The
summation of current research is fabulous. Drilling down so deeply permits you
to rise above the learning wars that this country habitually devolves into”.-
Downstate Medical Center
love your project! I teach literacy courses to
pre-service teachers and plan on including your material
in my courses. Thanks for making it available!" -
B. Hanks, Western State College, CO
can't stop reading the articles that are on the site. I
wish there were scholarships available to attend
workshops. This is a great site and I wish there were a
way to get it out there to the public more."
- L. Doran, School District of Cheltenham Township, PA
"I find the excitement of the incisive
interviews by David Boulton and the informative bonanza of reading information
exposed, breathtaking." - J. Roberts,
Reading Teacher, Kissimmee, FL
cannot say enough about this project "Children of the
Code." As a professional working with children and
their families (I'm a pediatrician) and in particular
with children with special needs...I have been
religiously following and reading each interview.
I have shared your website with many parents and
educators. There is so much excellent work going
on in each of the categories (from neuroscience to
behavioral science to education) that can give us the
tools to tackle this horrendous gap of reading ability
in our nation. My hope is that this information
does not remain in the confines of academia and makes it
to the "front lines" starting in the department of
obstetrics to the nursery and on to nursery school and
beyond. I have sent your URL to every educator I know
and certainly have passed it on to every parent group I
have spoken to. I'm awaiting the DVD. Thank you
for undertaking such a colossal project....I hope
we ill continue to investigate and hopefully involve
national as well as local lawmakers, educators,
researches and parents in the quest for "breaking the
code." Our children are counting on us. Our
democracy rests on it."
- G. Muscolo, MD
of the Code is a great resource that offers current research from the most
prominent names in their perspective fields to help us all make informed
decisions about instruction.” –
S. C.Valverde, Dyslexia Instructional Coach, EPISD,
saw the video at a workshop presented by Rebecca Cohen at
. Wonderful! Want all my teachers from preschool and up to view the DVD! Our
resource teachers will also just love!” –
T. Antista, Special ed/General Ed teacher,
am so unbelievably impressed by the honesty of your message and the
professionals who are involved with this project. I teach adults and children
how to read. I can't think of anything more profound that I can do with my life
than this.” – P. Marks, Reading &
Dyslexia Specialist, CA
"I'm so glad my friend emailed this website. This is
probably the most interesting, educational, insightful,
researched, helpful, meaningful information I've
received since becoming a teacher."
- J. Stillman, Budlong Elementary, L.A. California
can't believe how profoundly moving your web
presentation is and I wish it were required viewing for
every teacher and physician in the country (world?). I
plan to send out the link to as many of those folks as I
know. Many thanks for your work."
- K Kane, Parent, Wisconsin
your materials and have used them with much success with
students in my (Rocket Corps) program at Richard
Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland.
Thank you for your work and making so much information
available to those of us who can share it with
- J. Good, Coordinator-- Rocket Corps, Richard
Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD
company provides professional development in the area of
reading instruction. During a training, we went into the
school's computer lab and watched [COTC Videos]. Most
teachers had tears in their eyes, one sobbed
uncontrollably. They all said they see the urgency. The
information provided on your website is so important.
Every educator, parent, and resident of the United
States needs to know these facts. I recommend your site
to all participants in our trainings. Thank
you for your work!" - M.
Steverson, Smartel Learning Link, Marina Del Rey, CA
this sight extremely informative and useful. I am a SPED
teacher and hopefully the general ed teachers and
principals will read the articles I forward and
especially take action to help our keiki be successful."
Boeman, Educator, Kailua, HI
want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and the
curiosity of my mind for this website. I was a victim of
the "whole language" approach to reading back in the
early 70's. It wasn't until later in college when I took
a course in Greek that I realized I wasn't instructed
properly to read and write in my native language. Up
until that time I thought there was something wrong with
me or with my race (African American). Since then, I
have been on quest to understand what had happened to me
and why. I am also on a journey to rectify this problem
so that my children would have a better start and reach
the fullest potential. The articles, interviews, and
video presentations are invaluable to me and the next
generation that my wife and I will raise. Thanks again
from my heart and head".
- T. Bridges, Huntington
Learning Center, Tennessee
“I am an educational
consultant working now with preschools in low SES English Language Learner
schools and have had good success helping them train the directors and teachers
to improve the education for the students so that they will enter kindergarten
prepared for success. This information and resources are fabulous and will be
very helpful to me with my project. Thank you!” –
L. Colvin, Lynn Colvin Educational Consultants, CA
believe its one of the most fascinating and outstanding
projects to be seen. I am currently doing research on
reading fluency and this is the greatest source of
information I've found. I truly believe that you are in
the heart of the national reading crisis. I hope I will
have an opportunity to attend to one of your seminars!"
Gonzalez, Department of Education, Quebradillas, Puerto
[Why am I interested?] “The
depth of research into this topic by the collective group is absolutely
fascinating. Dr Abram for example compares the literate collective mind with the
earth’s consciousness using very clear and concise words. I look forward to
listening to more speakers. Thank you”. - W.
am so relieved to see this magnificent project evolving.
I think the project is likely to appeal to the "masses"
in a way that more somber, fact-filled sheets of
information have not. We in the literacy community know
that the reading crisis is here, but somehow the rest of
the nation is not paying attention. I'd like to see
"Children of the Code" recognized by every person in
this country - especially teacher training institutions
and our governments' education departments. There should
be billboards and bumper stickers, ads during football
games, endorsements by rappers. Nothing is more
important than our reading crisis for our survival into
the future. We are in the process of designing a
program for teenagers to be launched in the next two to
three years and "Children of the Code" has given us lots
of excellent information that we can use to generate
- A. Beck, Literacy Volunteers of
Coconino County, Flagstaff, Arizona
a school psychologist who has become addicted to your
site, thank you for sharing so much valuable
information!" - G.
Castiglioni, Blackstone-Millville Regional School
District, Blackstone, MA
wanted to thank you for conducting and making the
interviews available. They are superb. I've only read a
few (Nathanson, Risley, Shonkoff), but I've learned
quite a bit from each one. I probably learned more from
Risley's interview than from his book. Shonkoff's
interview has been very helpful in helping me frame the
importance of the parent-child relationship and the
importance of emotional development."
"Stunning and amazing. I've already e-mailed the link to
25 people, 2 of whom have links to at least 25 more
people. Thank you so much!"
- P. Gouldl, Literacy
Volunteers-Shenandoah County, Virgina
"I think it's wonderful to see
authentic information regarding helping kids who
struggle with reading, rather then fluffy games to play
or "they'll be okay later"....
Barto, Lake Michigan Academy, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"WOW is all
I can say to begin with. This is the first time that I
feel someone has a complete understanding of my daughter
and the journey she has begun."
Pinto, Parent, New York
"I just heard about this
in a class I am taking and it is SO true. I am normally a non talker and just
listening to the info given in passing at the class I realized that at times
when all I have done was 'business talk' life was pretty grim around our house.
(interestingly, in my classroom I AM much more chatty) What I like about this is,
for someone like myself who is more prone to silence, it makes it easy to think
- well, it doesn't really matter what I say as long as I am making fun chatter
with my children - and that it will lead to great benefits. (i.e., it doesn't
HAVE to be brilliant, or of great import) (not that I want to bore them, but I
think I can read those signals and change topics or just chat about what they
want to talk about) thank you, thank you, thank you."
- L. Elkin, Teacher, Lubavitch Early Childhood, St. Paul, MN
truly the most valuable information I have yet found on
the net about the process of learning sounds and
reading. Thank-you for sharing it as you have. Love the
Loftier, Loftier Learning, Canada
my studies for my MEd the lecturer introduced the site
as an additional source of information. I am an English
teacher and many of my students reach high school with a
lot of reading problems. Your site provides valuable
information that may enhance the teaching of these
the one word that hits me!
Keep it up!"
Johnson, Hutchinson Public Schools, Minnesota
"I’m grateful for your project “Children of the Code.”
It has proven to be a wealth of great information and
insight into a problem that I am familiar with and
learning more about every day. I’m telling everyone to
go to (the COTC site) if they want to get a healthy
perspective on one of the most important issues facing
our country, and maybe the globe.
We have a big ideas ourselves on how to shift
the dial on illiteracy and hope to leverage a lot of
your work along the way."
J. Goebel, Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Prentice
School Board of Trustees, Orange County, California
fabulous!! I am the parent of a child who struggles to
read. I am also studying to be a teacher and I will use
the information I find here in my classroom. Thanks!"
fascinating and informative project. Should have
application in any element that teaches reading, writing
or spelling, no matter what age the learners are.
I work primarily with adults, the items being discussed in your project are
applicable to all new struggling readers. I'm also a volunteer partner with an
elementary school in a socio-economical area of our city, and the content is
applicable there as well.
This is an extremely absorbing project to one who started dealing with reading
problems late in life... what I have reviewed has helped so much in determining
reasons for reading problems, and ways to resolve them."
Woodcock, Central Alabama Laubach Literacy Council
like to say thank you for sending me updates via my
email. I read all the interviews you send to me
and I also print them off and use them as professional
readings for group learning in my school. As an
Australian teacher living so far away in Hong Kong, it
is a real God send to feel like I'm still in touch with
the latest developments and opinions in the field of
teaching reading. I think Mr Bolton is a wonderful
interviewer. I have learned so much through reading his
transcripts. I feel like I belong to one giant,
worldwide learning community through your site.
Congratulations on such a great web resource." -
J.A. Dooner, English Schools Foundation, Hong Kong
hit the nail on the head with your work with Children of
Please do not stop what you are doing.
The world may not be ready to hear what you have
to say, but they have to hear it.
Because it is truth and it is reality.
Thank you for everything you are doing for the
children of our country."
- L. DeRossette,
, Vicksburg, MS
"I think that this site should be
visited by all parent and educators. I am dyslexic and
so are two of my three children. The chapter [on Shame]
touched on all the shameful experiences as a child that
I felt and wanted no one to know about. As a result of
that shame I droped out of school because of
frustrations of not understanding how to break apart
words or the sounds that made up a word. AS a adult I
have learned how to cope with my problem and not be
ashamed of how my brain works. This site has been a
wealth of information for me and all those that I have
sent to this site. I am truly thankful for the gifted
minds that are behind this great work. You have inspired
me to make a difference in the lives of my children as
well as those within my community. Thank you again."
- A. Wiggins, Parent - New
"This program supports what we know
concerning the process of learning how to read.
The science of reading is often written obscurely and
not easily digested by people who are trying to find the
"best" ways of teaching children this most important
skill. The interviews and the information for
Children of the Code are invaluable to teachers,
students, and professors because they are comprehensible
and current. You keep us on the cutting edge.
We respect the sources you use and the people who
- B. Cockerham, Asst. Professor,
California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
the "Children of the Code" website while I was surfing
for research information. What an incredible treasure
trove for inquiring minds like mine. Thank you for every
word on every page. I live daily with the anger,
frustration and pain that nonreaders face. As an
owner of a small private firm that treats children with
dyslexia and provides staff development throughout the
metropolitan area, all the national literacy issues have
become the backbone for my convictions and passion.
Thank you for navigating the experts with concise and
articulate precision. Most Sincerely"
- H. Graves,
Education Specialist, Denver, Colorado
floating in rarified air for the past day or so and loving
it. .... I have been on an odyssey of discovery that is in
every way thought-provoking and enlightening. What I like
about Children of the Code is that it is more than talk - it
is an effort to bring about change.” -
"I have been receiving your
Children of the Code articles for quite some time now.
I read them from cover to cover and then save them in a
folder in hard copy to be shared with colleagues and
parents. The articles help me to stay current with
research and make sure that when I teach that I am not
wasting anyone’s time with outdated methods or
I look forward to every interview. Many of these
people who are interviewed are the ones that I seek out in
dyslexia conferences to be able to benefit from the vast
amount of knowledge that they possess. Thanks for
being out there for us who really want to make a
- P. Ogier,
Academic Language Therapist, Katy ISD, Katy, TX
exceptional dedication will make an immeasurable difference
to how the world thinks about reading. I applaud all your
efforts and look forward to the release of the DVDs and all
the transcribed interviews."
- Ziyah Jabbar,
Straight "A"s Tuition, London, England
"The site has really helped me since I based my paper on
interviews from the site, and let me tell you something; I
didn't expect an interview to be this precise and
scientific. They are really a great source of
information and full of knowledge. Thank you for inventing
this project. I wish you further success with the project so
that the next generation is benefited from your work."
- L. Bashir, Graduate Student, Israel
"I want to thank
you for making so much vital information available on line.
I know you will also be sharing this information in other
formats in the future, but what you have done so far is
already assisting teachers, parents and researchers in so
many ways. Keep up the good work."
- M. Dornay, Mercer Island, WA
"Thank you, from
an elementary school reading teacher and librarian. Your
project has manifested in the most timely manner necessary
for the preservation of our nation. Well done! Keep me
updated, so I may help spread the word."
- G. Dugdale,
I believe in the work you are doing.
I am a first grade teacher and am working on my
I find your research and project so valuable.
My goal is to become a reading coach and hopefully be
able to share this research with my colleagues.
"I would first
off like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to
share your work with the education candidates that I
facilitate. They were quite amazed when they heard of the
reading crisis in education, and how so many individuals are
being affected. My hopes were that they left with a full
understand of the impact that they, as future educators, can
have on the life of the children entrusted to their care. I
truly admire your work and dedication in finding ways to
rememdy the reading crisis in society. Once again, thank you
so much for making this site available. Respectfully, "
Consuelo Rios, Facilitator & Reading Interventionist,
Univeristy of Phoenix & Canutillo ISD
appreciation, as a parent of two sons that were labeled
Learning Disabled when I discovered the Children of the Code
website I felt as though I reached the end of the LD maze
and there it was what I had been praying for all these
great! This is what I've been missing in my teaching
Kindergarten, First and Second Grade. I'm appreciative that
someone have finally realized the non-existence of reading
prep classes for teachers."
- K. Anderson,
looking for some documentation to connect the often quoted
relationship between the number of prison beds and the
reading level of young children. I ended up on a message
board on a blog where someone had posted your link. What I
found was a wealth of information presented in a very useful
format. Thank you so much. I am using some clips in an
upcoming training for our staff who conduct story times with
preschoolers. I am very interested in early literacy and am
seeking ways to teach parents and caregivers what I have
learned." - K. Whaley,
Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA
"The videos that identify the problems with our reading culture or lack of
there of has made a huge impact on me. Hoping the word can be spread to those
that make decisions and that a difference can be made for our children's
future." - M. Houser,
Substitute Teacher. Reading Tutor, Mom of a Dyslexic Child
"I was moved
to tears as I sat reading and listening to interview after
interview because I have so much respect for the effort my
students put into reading and these interviews just
magnified my admiration for their efforts. Your site
will help teachers; but more importantly, it may help
parents nurture their children's language development during
critical and sensitive developmental periods and thus
prevent future literacy struggles. Thank you for this
wonderful landmark literacy information center and thank you
to all the contributors. I already have learned so much
today. I will continue to access this sight over and over
again in hopes that I can make a difference in the academic
lives of my students again and again."
- C. Schumacher,
Teacher, Emerado School, Emerado, ND
about your project. I am truly hoping that it will open a
whole new window of understanding for educators and
politicians. Like any other subject - People must be exposed
to the information to understand it and how important it is
to also see this learning difference from the perspective of
In the end, let's hope your project rejuvenates
the educational system. Instead of the attitude "wait and
see" maybe True early intervention will happen for these
"As a teacher in a psychiatric hospital for
children and adolescents, I have found this information very
helpful. As a former teacher in a psychiatric hospital for
convicted men and women, it leads to the reasons for the
dramatic increase in need for correctional facilities all
over the country. Please include me in your mailing lists."
L. Daniels, M.A., Mathematics Teacher, Special Education
Department, Hawthorn Center
“I have been
doing personal research for 11 months trying to educate
myself on dyslexia and related disorders and your site is
the first to really talk in-depth about how learning to read
affects ones self-esteem.”
"I just stumbled across your site... and am in the
process of putting together my fall syllabus for Reading
Difficulties..... quite serendipitous, don't you think?
Thanks so much for all of your efforts on this mission for
equity in knowledge and learning."
- C. DeCourcey,
Professor, UT Austin
Children of the Code information was a huge "a-ha" and
mental high-five "yes!" moment for me. I want to be a part
of the movement.”
- Language Arts
"I am an
inclusion teacher, and I appreciate the information
available from top literacy experts through the Children of
the Code website. The interviews are informative
and extremely up-to-date., and I am able to put the
information I have gained into practice."
- P. Gawronski,
"Your Videos and
insights are magnificent."
"After reading through your site, I found
myself reflecting on my philosophies about teaching reading.
Thanks for such an inspiring site.
I check it regularly.
- J. Dooner, English School Foundation, Hong Kong
“Your work is
extraordinary and I don't want to miss any of your
offerings. I will use your transcripts in my reading courses
at the University.”
- University Professor
"Your video help me explain to
the ones I love how I have felt for the last fifty years. Thanks for your help
understanding the gifts I have." -
P. Travaglione, Duluth, MN
"I have been a
learning disabilities resource teacher for 21 years.
My classes were full of children with dyslexia. I did
not learn how to teach these children how to read until
midway through my career. It is refreshing to read the
correct way to teach children to read and learn even more
about reading instruction from Children of the Code.
Thank you for enlightening all of us about reading
"I did a
research paper on learning disabilities and poor instruction
as a source of reading problems and discovered Children of
the Code. Such a comfort to know there is a huge
network of people who see what I see. Thank God for you all,
and I will be thoroughly exploring your site and watching
for all updates."
- L Glover,
Educator, Dayton Ohio
"A DVD containing research and information critical to
building the knowledge base of those involved on a variety
of levels in working with teaching literacy would be an
I read almost everything I can
from the site and distribute it to teachers, parents, my
grad students and colleagues alike. If creating a DVD of
your work is a possibility, the applications are ENDLESS!
The DVD format would support educating the variety of
stakeholders who need the information - in a most useful
format. If you are able to fulfill this dream, I can already
envision using it in my classes and in parent workshops.
- M. Ruby,
"I am trying to
get legislation in place in OK to make a difference with
thousands of kids who fall through the cracks every year!
The information that you have to share MUST be heard by all
community members and educators to effect change."
- T. Maus,
Central Oklahoma Friends of Early Education
"I am a
School Social Worker at Casa Blanca Community School on the
Gila River Indian Reservation. It is amazing how resilient
the children are, here in our community as they struggle
with all of the challenges of life. However, the challenge
of struggling to learn to read is taking a toll that cannot
be measured. It seems to be less painful for them to be seen
as behavior problems than to demonstrate that they cannot
read. I pray for a miracle for the children that I work
with, because they are so talented in so many areas of their
lives. Yet, no matter how hard I try to focus on their
strengths, it is ever on their minds that they are "not
smart" because they cannot read. I look forward to receiving
any information that you have that will help me find some
solutions. Thank you!"
J. Jarnagin, Casa Blanca Community Schoo, Gila River Indian
"Thank you a
hundred times over for this project. As a mother of three
dyslexic children I have been trying to educate everyone I
know about the problem of reading failure in our society,
and how we can so easily cure it with proper teaching
methods. This is something that is long over due."
- D. Miller,
"The insight, vision,
expertise, and Educational experience conveyed on the web pages after finding
the article by Ian Browde from his interview with David Boulton (1993), so
impressed me. I'd like to continue learning and expanding this macro perspective
on the fundamental purpose and meaning of 'Learning'. This project is a
wonderful place to begin my journey." -
D. Hricsovszky, Peel District School Board, Ontario, Canada
"I find your
work fascinating. As a special educator working with
children who have reading difficulties, I can completely
identify with your research."
- B. Rai, American Embassy School, New Delhi, India
currently working on my final project for my masters in
learning disabilities. This program is my research. It's
- Graduate Student
“This is a fantastic website, and the interviews were
well-researched and informative. Thank you for doing this.
You will help countless parents, educators, and most
importantly, children.” - Reading
is fantastic! What wonderful leaders in the field are
included in interviews! Loved Louisa Moats and Reid Lyon!
What a great project!!"
- M. Galloway
"Oh my gosh, there is a God
in heaven! FINALLY, a web-site that combines literacy research with
practice! This should be mandatory for all future education majors!" - M.
Pace, School Psychologist, TN
interviews are so helpful to me as a professional
development presenter. The interviews are well-organized,
the questions are thought-provoking; the result is a sense
that you know the researcher and the thinking behind their
research in a more personal way. Thank you for doing this!"
like the project on 'Children of the Code' - it takes gives
me greater insight into how being unable to read could have
such adverse effects on the child's mental health.
Thanks for sharing the information on learning and reading."
Lim Wan Cheng,
Republic of Singapore
"I am a
retired Professor of Microbiology and Immunology who had a
35 year tenure at the University of Marland School of
Medicine. I pursued an interest in the field of beginning
reading after retirement. I have done some volunteer work in
remedial reading at a local grade school. I have read avidly
on this subject for several years now, including: Adams,
Moats, Snow, Shaywitz, Stanovich, Pressley, National Reading
Panel Report, and many, many articles from the internet. I
discovered your series of interviews several days ago, and
consider it a treasure chest of information." -
W. F. Myers,
"I cried and
cried some more.I have been there and my children are going
through it now. At last I found a place where people know
what I'm talking about. Please HELP me help my children."
- S. Sheats,
"Amazing! I came across by chance today and could not stop
reading and listening for the last 40 minutes. I've been
interested in the history of writing after I prepared a
paper on this topic for a postgraduate course on Asian
languages... So different from everything i had taken for
granted. I work as a teacher of English language for Catalan
people in Barcelona and they really need more listening
activities with a gripping content. The quality of the
passages and the high level of technology used in your
website make it a perfect choice for their personal
projects. Thanks for your outstanding work and keep it up!
- Miquel-Angel, EOI School of
Languages, Manresa, Spain
"Your site is profound and a
gift. If only it can reach enough educators and administrators. Our school
system doesn't even acknowledge dyslexia as a learning disability, and just
throws these children in the classes with all the other "challenged"
children. And we're supposedly one of the better school systems in the country,
but the Univ of Wisc. Ed Dept says, "no such thing as dyslexia". So, I
can read your pages, watch your videos and weep without hope. We're doing
everything we can, we've spent every penny we can squeak out, and we have a
small Native American, beautiful, gentle, kind, imaginative, broken and shamed
child who, when it comes time to do homework, lies on the floor in the fetal
position sobbing and saying, "I'm so stupid, I'm so stupid, the teacher's
going to be really mad at me and I can't go out for recess again tomorrow."
And he's smart as a whip and will never know it. What are we supposed to do in
the meantime?"- K.
Kane, Grandmother, Madison, Wi
"I find your
videos to be excellent! I have enjoyed listening to them
several times. Thank you for producing videos that clarify
our language. Thank you for the videos that give answers to
students and parents regarding dyslexia. I have shared your
website with many colleagues and parents." -
Brusco, Teacher, Myers Corners School, Wappinger Falls, NY
are no words to tell you how valuable this project is.
I'm the grandparent of a kid who took
all the knocks to the nth degree (social/emo and educational
abuse and neglect.) He's traveled the predictable road of an
unsupported LD student. That's why the videos make me
cry...I feel so bad for the kids...they are so helpless and
you just know the knocks they've yet to take.
grandson began with so much eagerness to learn; he was a
self-directed, successful learner, using his brain pretty
much to capacity. Now he's 18 and only completed 8th grade (tried an alternate
route but it didn't fit his learning style.) At 17 he left,
for self preservation. He's probably in the top 7% of the
population in intelligence (according to testing,) but held
back by LDs, He CAN read, but is self-taught and I'm not
sure how long it takes him to know what he read. I'm not
sure how he does it. He's a sad young man with no idea of where to go or what to
do. His light has gone out. He hit the wall a long time ago
and we're tired. I work in early
intervention (3-5) and have learned a lot by watching my
grandson's struggles (from the beginning)....so I am very
bent on identifying these kids and making sure their parents
get information, to both understand the struggle and how to
(find help to) rise above it
- thanks again."
Anderson, Grandparent & Educator
"I have been a Children's
Services librarian in a large, urban public library for
about 15 years.
Over this time, I have seen a marked difference in the
linguistic abilities of children based on their homelife and
When the Public Library Association began their
initiative, in 2000, of sharing current scientific research
on brain development with librarians across the country, I
was inspired to begin using the results of that research to
enhance my own services in this area.
When I heard about your work
with Children of the Code, I knew immediately that this was
another piece of this complicated puzzle we're trying to
As I work with families, teachers, neighborhood
leaders and other professionals in the public library, I
find that the information you are gathering has become
invaluable to me.
Understanding more about the history of our written
language and how we came to have such a complicated code
allows me to sympathize with my younger customers, that is
The information you share about how shame and
embarrassment can short-circuit the brain was also quite
fascinating to me.
This understanding also inspires me to approach the
task of mentoring young people in a different way.
It's not just about one academic area, but the whole
person and how we think about who we are.
I have really found a lot of
great information in the interviews you are gathering.
Thank you for your work, and for being there to share it
- C. Williams -
Children's Specialist/ Library Branch Manager
"I am currently teaching literacy
courses at the University of Dayton for Early Childhood
Education majors and Intervention Specialists. I have
revamped my courses and have begun to approach my classes
with the fundamentals of what reading is and what literacy
is. By having this basis of understanding the students
[future teachers!] should have a much better understanding
of how to teach a child to read." - B. Lewellyn, Teacher, Dayton, OH
"I happened to
hear you on Nutmeg TV you were speaking at the
New Britain Teachers Convocation which was taped and broadcast. It
was a shame your lecture was not publicized. I was moved to
tears to hear you say what I have been saying all along;
shame, humiliation rejection fear are what my son has
experienced and not verbalized to the school."
Bielinski, Parent, Educator, Berlin, CT
"I love what you are doing! I am continually
researching information on dyslexia and reading
difficulties, and I have find your project very
enlightening. I have been a teacher for 10 years
(with a Master's in Education)...have struggled thru the
school system myself but because of persistence have made it
thru (learning after college I am dyslexia)...and now have a
child that has entered the school system whom has been
qualified for having a SLD. I have a great interest in how
children learn how to read, so I love the information that
you have provided on your website. Thank you!"
D. Harrison, Teacher, Reno, NV
personally identify with the psychological profiles often associated with
a child who struggles with reading as described on the Children of the Code web
site. Viewing your site gave me huge
personal insights into my self-doubt and fear of failure throughout my life.
I have accommodated my
disability (and now have several undergraduate degrees) but until recently, have
been almost paralysed by the "mind shame" I experienced in my youth."
A. Van Ryn
"I live in
Brazil, I'm Brazilian, but your project is extremely
important for us here, we have the same problems and we are
looking for solutions, too. Thank you for helping us."
- M. Soares,
University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte - Brazil
"I would like to
say how much I appreciate the in-depth information on this
website. As a parent with a foreign adoptee who arrived in
the USA as a kindergartener with undiagnosed auditory
processing disorder (moderate to severe) and dyslexia, this
site helps to understand the complexities of learning to
read. Personally, I never had to wonder why English was so
hard - reading came naturally. Watching the videos on the
history of our alphabet and how the brain learns to read
were fascinating!" - L. Belles,
enjoyed reading Paula Tallal's article on learning and
reading issues. There is a wealth of information in it that
I want to share with all of my teachers and parents. I am
finding your site a very valuable resource for information.
Thank you!!" - M.
project helps all parents and teachers restore their hope and provide them with
the information they need. Thank you!" -
D. Seidenfuss, Reading Interventionist
the work you are doing. Thank you so very much for the quality and the attempts
at brining science into the processes of education.
" - Cheers
, R. Bellfield, Speech Pathology, Victoria, Australia
"You manage to talk with
the most influential people in the field of learning to read
and learning differences. Thank you."
F. Maguire, Excelsior Academy, San Diego, CA
you for an incredible resource for our 26 school districts!
The literacy problem is daunting & too often the solutions for
educators seem as insurmountable and impossible as the art of reading is to our
students in greatest need."
- D. Thomas, Franklin and
Jefferson Counties Special Education District, Benton, IL
thrilled to see such a comprehensive project that is open to
brain research and whatever that brings to the forefront. I
appreciate hearing about educators being willing to use
whatever avenue is best to teach our children to read,
instead of coming to the table with preconceived ideas that
are often taught in undergraduate education classes. I was
referred to this site by my professor (who is obviously very
interested in brain research and what it brings to light) in
a graduate course." – J. Mays,
"Very fine and
interesting article with Dr. Johanna Drucker and David
Boulton. Thanks so much. Very helpful for a research paper
I'm doing on the art of hieroglyphs. I really appreciate
what you've shared here. All the best to you."
- P. Gadd, NSCC, Tennesee
are doing such great work with these kids. I want to be able to make a
difference in the lives as kids as well. I watched two of your films in class
and they really made a difference in how I view students with
S. Parrish, Student, Al
"Thank you for your
project. I use the introductory article in my handouts when
I give presentations about dyslexia and learning to read. I
plan to put your videos on my website."
- N. Sears,
Executive Director, Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota
videos on your website are a helpful resource to the students in my course on
Infant Toddler Education and Care. They emphasize the critical role of emotions,
environment, and interactions in a way that motivates and spurs all of us to do
better for the children. Thank you! -
S. Mehta, Educator, India
"Teaching remedial reading
classes - your information has been invaluable - want more! My kids with ASD are
struggling and very few people about to help. BBBrilliaant! I will endeavour to
get the word out about this project!" -
K. Buchanan, Teacher, MS
"I am so impressed by the
research and the information base underlying your presentations. They validate a
sense of urgency for educators to learn and use best practices to teach our
students to read. It supports the fact that we need to make some changes. I love
the website and use it often to inspire and motivate my college level students
who have chosen to go into the field of education." -
J. Hull, Literacy Coach, Bristol Virginia Public Schools
"What a great
website! Thanks for putting it all together. I'm
recommending it to all parents and teachers I know of. I
came across your website by googling "history of writing".
Thank you and keep it going."
M. Villamayor, Parent, Valencia, CA
"I heard Sally
Shaywitz quoted at a district training for reading
intervention teachers. I googled Dr.Shaywitz and was amazed
to find your organization. It seems broad, all encompassing,
and a necessary tool for those like me, who are engaged,
daily, in trying to teach reading to students who struggle
with the entire reading process. I am so glad you are out
L. Pepple, Washington elementary School District, Phoenix,
AZ "The findings of
"Children of the Code" project just break my heart. For
a quick taste,
click here and roll over the videos. This segment is
about the shame of not knowing how to read. Listen to the
voices of children, adults and parents. While the "Children
of the Code" Web site is way over the top in terms of
graphics, it is worth the effort to wander through it. There
you will find more than a dozen videos and hundreds of links
to experts, studies and interviews. I can envision this
package being a launchpad for a year-long project by a TV
station, radio station or newspaper."
- excerpted from an
online article by Al Tompkins, Columist, Poynter Online
Comments on Learning Paradigm:
presentation for our Schools of the Future Design Team was stunning! You
challenged all of us that day to stretch our minds and consider the
possibilities for individual learners. Your work is the key to revolutionizing
schools of the future. I cannot remember when I have had such a great learning
experience." - Margaret
Gayle, Author of Educational Renaissance
is a key direction toward the liberation of learners regardless of their past;
to the liberation of teachers so they can better fulfill their role of
encouraging, facilitating and enhancing the dialogue with each student -- thanks
for the excellent experience today."
- Bob Kennedy, Director of
Education, Nipissing Board of Education, Canada
learned quite a bit and look forward to following your work. In particular, I
found our discussion of learning theory quite useful, on abstract and concrete
levels. Your insights about how technology can be leveraged to support learners
are well reflected in your interface design work. Your vision is encouraging."
- Chris Spelius, Research Analyst,
Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment
put into words why I've had so much trouble learning over the years (ie., not
being able to be present to what is experienced). What you said about children
'If children can't resolve the tension produced by the uncertainty surrounding
an obstacle, in TIME they become too frustrated and disengage' accurately
explains the dynamics of my youth. You've hit on something that, at once, seems
perfectly plain when explained, and that at the same time, I've never heard
anyone else bring to public awareness -- that being "present" is a prerequisite
to being able to learn."
- Connie Mantis, Learning Systems
Designer, Advanced Technology Group, Apple Computer
David Boulton's presentation my concepts of learning and teaching have been
positively shattered, exploded into 10,000 brilliant lights of new ideas. My
teaching career will never be the same, nor will it ever be as complacently
John Hindle, Administrative Head, Confederation
Learner Interface is extraordinary. You've captured the essence of how we learn,
including how our brains create and process meaning."
Pascal Gayet, President Fitness Consultants, France
the past 33 years I have been a teacher and educator of all levels of schooling,
colleges and universities and I was extremely impressed by David's insights into
the learning process. His proposed "INVISOR" model is not only feasible but also
profoundly educationally valid."
- Roy Lundin, Ph.D, Director Queensland University of Technology, Australia
reserve, I can confidently say that this is the most exciting academic project I
have seen in quite some time."
- Mtro. Manuel Gandara, Director Centecemes, University of Baja California,
a purely subjective level, I was personally stunned by the sophistication, yet
clarity, of the concept, and my educational background, as well as my long
experience in educational computing, told me that it was an absolute winner."
- Martin Lowry, Education Marketing
Manager, Apple Computer, United Kingdom
creative work of art and science must be personally experienced to fully
comprehend the profound changes in which 21st. century learning will be
accomplished. This nation can ill afford to miss the opportunities that David
Boulton's genius makes possible."
- Lewis Jaffe, Chairperson, Three
is an extremely powerful and original thinker whose ideas are not restricted by
the commonly accepted models of teaching and learning. His argument that we need
to produce "learners" rather than "knowers" is lucid and would strike a chord
with any educator interested in more than just the mechanical transference of
information from static resource to passive student."
- Paul Holland, Senior Education
Officer, Department of Education, Queensland Australia
for the great presentation. There is great potential for your ideas. The
subjective meaning paradigm and theory of learning and (overall) direction ring
- Michael G. Fullan, Dean Faculty of
Education, University of Toronto
impress me as one much like Buckminster Fuller: you think in the future tense.
Your ideas are seminal and exciting, your language inventive. More than anything
else, you persuade me, like it or not, that marvellous learning technologies and
breakthroughs are upon us. Their coming use is inexorable."
- James E. Conner, ED.D., President Possibilities Unlimited
issues [David] raises are certainly important and must ring bells with anyone
who spends any length of time around young children with open heart, eyes and
mind to the rich patterns of conception, thought and action that characterize
their play." - Christopher
Roper, Managing Director, Longman Logotron England
on change - Wonderful potential for refining and redirecting personnel and
systems in education."
- Burle Summers, Director of
Learning Assessment Branch, Ontario Ministry of Education
notion of the "relationship" between information and the learner is indeed
electric and touches on my experience of the process of change and growth when I
do psychotherapy." - Walter
E. Jensen, Ph.D.
promising - I'd call it a practical approach to the development of spirit in
human beings (you call it learning-oriented subjectivity)."
- Bob Williams, Director of
Education, Halton Board of Education, Ontario, Canada
[work] has contributed substantially to our thinking on the interconnections in
our work. I am presently drafting a piece for my constituency of farmers and
activists around the country based on it. "
- Thomas Forster, Executive Director, Organic Farmers Associations Council
has opened up a new range of possibilities for me."
- Robert Lee, Director of Education,
Peel Board of Education
"I was so taken with David Boulton's information that I will now be working to
see what could be done to duplicate the exercise for a larger audience of
educators here in Alberta. Indeed, a number of my Cabinet colleagues were so
impressed with what I had to say in my debriefing that they would want to be
included in a similar exercise."
- Jim Dinning, Minister of
Education, Alberta, Canada
statement: Copyright (c) 2014,
A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization,
Reserved. Permission to use, copy, and distribute these materials
for not-for-profit educational purposes, without fee and without
a signed licensing agreement, is hereby granted, provided that "Children of
the Code -
(with a functioning hyperlink when online) be cited as the source and appear in all
excerpts, copies, and distributions. Thank you. (back