"I love 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 students." - J. Good, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD  

"I use COTC in all my classes. All students are engaged by the videos, which start some very lively discussions. Students have told me that they have a better understanding of both language and reading as a result of these videos. - J. A. Greene, Assistant Professor of Education, Park University, Parkville, MO

"I 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. 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

"The Children of the Code experience was life changing for me."  - T. Nichols, Ph.D., Consultant, Alabama Dept. of Education

All I can say is WOW! ... I love all of the connections from one expert to another and the links to rare vocabulary... I also want to say that I appreciate your efforts in presenting both sides.  - J. Petersen, Irvine Unified School District, Irvine, California

"Your website has totally changed the type of material and the message I'm delivering to my students...the clips are awesome!  I finally feel like I am able to offer my students some truly valuable information about teaching reading." - Dr. B. Lewellyn, Univ. of Dayton, OH

"I  am 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

"Wow! Eureka! Now I get it. I wish I had heard this 25 years ago." - M. Plail, Sutton Elementary Even Start, Houston, TX



A Social Education Project


"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

Discount NAEP or it's state level counterparts to whatever level you think is reasonable and still more children are in school and life danger due to reading difficulties than from just about everything else we keep track of combined. You probably wouldn't be here if you didn't already understand this but what about the other educators in your school system? Do your teachers and administrators really understand who's at risk, what's at stake, and what's involved

"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... thank you so much for the work that you have done to bring all of these people together, especially the children." - M. Friesen, Director, Special Education, Thomasville City Schools, Thomasville, GA

We are a non-profit social education project.  We aren't selling anything and we aren’t pushing an ideology or teaching methodology.  We are a free-to-schools online learning library focused on 'reading' and based on the following premises: 

1) Children who are unable to proficiently process the written materials used in their grade levels - who are 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 - are in danger. Their entire educational experience is more difficult, frustrating, and less likely to succeed. 

2) Regardless of particular methods of teaching, the better educators understand the challenges involved in learning to read the better they can differentially apply the methods or approaches they choose to help children through those challenges.

3) The more that education leaders and policy makers understand the collateral effects of reading difficulty, in terms of its harm to the general health of a child's ability to learn, the more effectively they can focus their efforts to improve their school system's performance.

The mission of the Children of the Code Project is to help educators and policy makers develop a deeper first-person understanding of: who's at risk, what's at stake, and what's involved in learning to read.  We aren't here to persuade people about what to think or how to teach, we are a resource for people who are interested in deepening their learning and the learning of the people they work with.

"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. 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."  - B. Weiss, Principal, Meadow Hill School, Newburg

Our online library provides educational resources that address virtually every domain and discipline associated with understanding the 'code' and the 'challenges involved in learning to read it'.  Unlike traditional documentaries or books which require such an investment of time and money that they are seldom used, our resources are in the form of hundreds (and growing) mini-modules that are free to use and that can be emailed, arranged in any number of ways in presentations and trainings, and that can form the basis for school system-wide faculty dialogues.  Use one of them - use all of them. Use them in board meetings, grant proposals, teacher trainings, and student and parent conferences.

"[at  your seminar] 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

"My 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." - M. Steverson, Smartel Learning Link, Marina Del Rey, CA

"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 (3 hour seminar) than in all my college courses on language."  - B. Gallagher, Niagara Falls, New York  

Thanks again for visiting our site. We hope you will now proceed to explore our site's home page, index of interviews, menu of videos, and our topics page.  If you find what we are working on interesting and helpful make sure you hit the 'contact us' button (located on the top menu bar) and sign up to receive our updates.  If you want to help us succeed please send us your feedback and suggestions (also a button on on the top menu bar).

"I 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. - G. Muscolo, MD

Click here for more comments about our project from Leaders in
 Literacy and Learning, Event Attendees and Organizers,
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"Wow, that’s interesting.  I think that’s a lovely description of it (the challenge of learning to read).  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,  President (2006), International Reading

"It's a wonderful thing that you're doing.  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 on."  - Dr. Todd Risley, Psychologist, co-author "Meaningful Differences..."

"What 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." - Dr. Paula Tallal, Neuroscientist, Rutgers University

"This 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 Ed

"Like 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.   “Children of the Code” merits the serious attention of anyone interested in emotional health of children or the future of America."  -  Dr. Donald L. Nathanson, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Author: Shame and Pride and Know

"I love 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

"Thank you!!!! How great to have my graduate students read the interviews of Adams, Shaywitz, the list goes on....Videos are great. They were very helpful in my undergraduate classes. " -  Mary Wines, Professor, Midwestern State University Language Therapist Master's Program CALT, Wichita Falls

"I recently attended your presentation on “The Effect of Learning to Read Difficulties on Mental Health” at the School-Based Mental Health conference. 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


Copyright statement:  Copyright (c) 2014, Learning Stewards, A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization, All Rights 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 - www.childrenofthecode.org"  (with a functioning hyperlink when online) be cited as the source and appear in all excerpts, copies, and distributions.  Thank you. (back to top)