Earlier this year, the Parents’ Choice organization awarded its 1999 Parents’ Choice “Approved” Award to Earobics Step 2, a software package for teaching early literacy skills.
The awards committee–which includes prominent journalists, educators, artists, scientists, and business people–noted the software “offers children, parents, and teachers five fun, interactive phonics and auditory processing games that increase reading, spelling, and speaking skills.” The home version was deemed particularly valuable for parents who want to help their children continue learning outside of school.
Chicago Public School officials have started using the program to address students’ poor reading skills, which persist despite after-school and summer-school programs aimed at correcting reading deficiencies. In January, 500 teachers from 100 schools received training on the program, which will be used in whole-class instruction for up to half an hour a day. Some 15,000 primary grade students will be involved initially, with that figure possibly increasing to as many as 50,000.
With the poor achievement record of many public schools today, it’s almost a necessity for parents to help their children with lessons that schools aren’t teaching well. That includes the most fundamental educational task of all: Teaching young children to read. Seventy-seven percent of fourth graders in urban high-poverty schools read “below basic” on tests conducted for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. U.S. manufacturers report that 60 percent of all 17-year-olds lack the reading skills to hold down a production job at a manufacturing company.
“Research has proven that all beginning readers benefit from phonological awareness instruction,” said Jan Wasowicz Ph.D., cofounder and president of Cognitive Concepts Inc., which designed and markets the Earobics software. “Earobics Step 2 provides efficient, individualized instruction that adapts to each child’s skill level, so it’s never too easy or too hard–and the engaging characters keep it fun.”
The Parents’ Choice award is one of many that Earobics has received since it was introduced in 1998, including Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products, the EdPress Award for Best Early Childhood Software, and Technology and Learning’s Award of Excellence.
Cognitive Concepts Inc. aims to integrate technology with scientific principles and proven clinical methods to offer effective and affordable literacy learning tools and training for specialists, educators, and families. The company recently released Earobics 1 for Adolescents and Adults, which provides phonological awareness skill training for older struggling readers.
For more information …
Visit Cognitive Concepts’ Web site at http://www.cogcon.com.