Summer Reading That’s Fun For Kids, Easy For Parents

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Award-winning Word Dogs program goes online in time for summer

As summer nears, there’s good news for parents looking for ways to prevent learning loss and advance their child’s reading skills before the new school year. Word Dogs, a reading program for grades K through 2, is offering an online subscription to its award-winning curriculum in time for summer break. A recipient of the 2010 “Teacher’s Choice Award” from Learning Magazine, Word Dogs combines animated music videos with traditional learning techniques to help children build a solid reading foundation.

Created by Matt Nichols, an educator in Collier County, Florida, Word Dogs is the culmination of lessons learned over 17 years of teaching music to children. Nichols got the idea after observing how his students responded to curriculum that included music, rhythm, melody and repetition. Working with other professional educators from around the country, he developed an animated software program to help students learn all 220 high frequency “sight-words” through songs, interactive games and other activities.

Formerly only available on DVD, Word Dogs will be available via an online subscription beginning June 2010. Both versions include games, activities, flash cards, progress charts, award certificates and more.

“As a teacher and parent, I discovered how easy it is for kids to lose their learning momentum during the summer, especially young children who respond so well to repetition and continuity,” said Nichols. “But with Word Dogs, vacation doesn’t have to mean taking a break from maintaining or even improving reading skills.”

A graduate from the University of Miami’s Masters Program for Music, Nichols wrote the songs and composed the music for the program’s 55 videos, a process that took over a year and included using the voice of his six-year-old daughter and her friends in the recording studio.

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Karen Miller
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