Launching Young Readers: Empowering Parents
If you have a child who is a struggling reader, your family is not alone. Learning to read is a challenge for almost 40 percent of kids, and an even bigger challenge for their parents.
Empowering Parents, a PBS special hosted by Al Roker, visits schools in Huntingtown, Maryland, and Portland, Oregon, to outline the warning signs that indicate a child may have difficulties and shows why early intervention is so important. The program features experts Rick Lavoie; Dr. Julie Washington, University of Michigan; Dr. Roland Good, University of Oregon; and Dr. Guinevere Eden, Georgetown Medical School. The show is divided into the following segments:
Fighting for Your Child: Jennifer Simpson is a mother on a mission. Unlike many parents who don't realize when their child is behind the learning curve, Jennifer knows exactly where her daughter should be — and isn't.
Warning Signs: Bryana was waving a red flag for reading problems at eight months old. That's when her mother found out Bryana was hearing impaired.
Understanding Your Child: Special education expert Rick Lavoie shows parents why it's important to take action. "Parents sometimes worry that they're overreacting when their child isn't reading in first and second grade," says Lavoie. "It's really not possible to overreact to that. It's a fairly serious thing."
Instruction: Watch as the folks at Metzger Elementary in Portland, Oregon, help struggling students like J.T. with extra doses of reading and one-on-one tutoring.
Reading and the Brain: Find out how the brain of a kid with reading problems, like Jonathan, handles reading differently than the brain of a strong reader.
Emiliann's Team: Jennifer Simpson participates in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting with a team of seven people committed to making sure her daughter, Emiliann, becomes a good reader.
Visit Reading Rockets for a free, downloadable parents' guide.
Empowering Parents is the sixth episode of Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers, WETA's award-winning series of innovative half-hour programs about how children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help.
Available in DVD format.
Running time: 26 minutes