Education Company Launches Nonprofit to Eliminate Rote Memorization and Improve Literacy for All Young Learners

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The Right Side Literacy Project, a newly formed nonprofit, sets out to give young learners, regardless of socio-economic circumstances, the best tools to think and learn through the written word.

I’ve worked with hundreds of students and transformed how they learn. I want to bring that same opportunity to more students.

According to educational psychologist Melanie West, the education system in the United States has not changed over the past 100 years and needs to be updated for the 21st century.

West and her education company, The Right Side of Learning, have formed the Right Side Literacy Project, a nonprofit that transforms the way K-2 students are taught reading and writing.

The Right Side Literacy Project sets out to give young learners, regardless of socio-economic circumstances, the best tools to think and learn through the written word. Using a neuro-scientific approach to literacy, The Right Side Literacy Project aims to create reading and writing mastery for all young learners.

“I’ve worked with hundreds of students and transformed how they learn. I want to bring that same opportunity to more students,” said West.

Many problems in the education system stem from using the long practiced, ineffective method of rote memorization. Children are taught over 50% of words using only rote memorization.

West says that many new studies in neuroscience show that when a word is taught through rote memorization, that word is at risk of being dropped from the child’s comprehension process. You may be able to ‘force’ a child to ‘read’ a word but that doesn’t mean the word is meaningful to the child’s brain. This ultimately causes weak reading comprehension, difficulties with reading and following directions, low critical thinking skills, and difficulties solving word problems.

“I work in school systems and see firsthand the problems caused by rote memorization,” said West. “In my private practice, I have been searching for new and better ways to teach students effective reading and reading comprehension skills. The Right Side Literacy Program takes the same program I’ve used successfully with my own students and makes it available for schools to easily and quickly implement.”

The Right Side Literacy Project requires teachers to devote only 15 minutes,twice a week, to the program. The program can be taught alongside the current reading curriculum and includes lesson plans, teacher training, and parent enrichment.

Having been successfully piloted in kindergarten classes in Lawndale, California, the RIght Side Literacy Project is now accepting qualified applicants. Funding is available for eligible schools.

For more information, please visit The Right Side Literacy Project website.

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Melanie West
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