Academy of Literacy converts the memory challenged into logic based learners.
Teaches the ALPHabetic Principle in a meaningful & predictable format.
Statistics and student profiles

STUDENT SUCCESSES

Subjects:

Students who fail to learn using conventional methods of teaching and/or remediation--students deemed unteachable. Referred by teachers, administrators, speech therapists, parents and psychologists.

Method:

Phonogics instruction in remedial setting --two students per teacher, two 45 minute sessions per week, regular school year only.

How to read the table:

Top line shows incoming data; second line shows results and outgoing data.

Glossary:

Conv spell = Conventional, ie; weekly spelling words given at school.
Phon spell = Durrell Analysis of Reading Difficulty.
WRAT = Wide Range Achievement Test.
Non-compliant = student refused to participate in lessons.
Graduated = Completed the course--moved through the entire alphabet.
Sylvan = Previously Sylvan Student
Teaching ratio = Two students each individually taught
Stats 1
Stats 2
Stats 3
It was the student’s successes that were the motivation for the National Research Council of Canada, to take the unprecedented step in providing seed monies to build a prototype of “PhonKnowLedgy” to:
  1. disprove the long held consensus that Students’ Successes were attributable to me and my teaching center.
  2. prove the students could learn using the computer as effectively as in the A.W.A.R.E. Teaching Center.
  3. demonstrate that my logic based Spell-to-Read Approach to Reading Success could be successfully converted to a computer based format.

Once the PhonKnowLedgy prototype was completed it was taken into one of Victoria School District’s inner city schools and tested on students deemed ‘At Risk’. It became clearly evident as the students’ were being video taped, that the prototype was a phenomenal success, albeit, it also revealed that the students lacked the basic understanding of the Alphabetic Principle.

With the realization that the students’ didn’t know the basic sounds of the letters, we needed to go back to the Alphabet and teach the individual letter sounds (Tunes) to develop what became ALPHabiTunes predicated on Phonogics.

Phonogics is an acronym- combining letters’ sounds, “phon(e)”, and “(l)ogics” – the logic in letters’ behaviour, therein creating a “sound-logic” for letters’ behaviour that provides the “why” in letters’ sounds.

ALPhabiTunes, (an acronym for Animated Letter Personalities each with a Habit that teaches its Tunes), is the format for teaching Phonogics that forms the foundation of the PhonKnowLedgy program, as it makes letters’ sounds and behaviour meaningful and therefore predictable based on the users’ life experiences.

Based on the Video of the students’ interactions with PhonKnowLedgy, the National Research Council representative insisted that ALPHabiTunes be programmed with National Research Council matching funding for employees.


Card from Sarah
Letter from Sarah

Dear Barb,
You may not remember me, but you taught me to read. I started coming to you when I was 9 years old. At the time I was reading and writing at a kindergarten level and I never thought I would be capable of reading a novel to myself. When I finished your program I was reading a level higher than that of many of my classmates and I began to excel in school. I still use what you taught me everyday of my life.

I am now 24 years old and have just graduated this past spring from the University of Victoria with a Bachelors in Earth Sciences and with Honours. My family wasn’t sure if I would be able to graduate high school, let alone university with such high achievement. And without you I never would have been able to. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you did for me and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sarah Bozoian
January 4th 2018


Letter from Brian Horne

Looking back on my journey through life I find myself feeling sad, angry & frustrated.
Angry because of the lack of understanding by the people that decide how we will be taught as children.
For instance: In England at age 11, you have to sit an examination called the 11+. If you passed the test your education path was one of academic subjects enabling you to go on to University etc.
Failure of the exam meant entry into a different schooling system and resulted usually in a career in manual trades and all those jobs no one really wants to do. Being learning disabled meant I had no chance of passing the test but I know I had more ability than most.
I see this as being convicted of a crime I didn’t commit and being sentenced to a life in hell.
The sadness comes from seeing my father and many like him struggle through life with a tortured mind, trying to achieve more and more, only to be put down by the lack of education which they were denied due to teaching methods that did not work for them.
Many of the most clever people in history were learning disabled and it was this disability which drove them to seek answers to little understood subjects. Finally, the frustration I feel is for the present day situation- more and more teenagers leaving the school system unable to read and write properly. Is it just adolescence or lack of interest? More likely it is that the teaching method was not right for them, resulting in poor future prospects and turning to crime to survive, drugs to relieve the torture and violence to get revenge. I have been lucky in that the influences in my life have kept me on the right track and I have been able to move beyond such primitive behaviour. A few years ago I set out to find answers to how I could be so capable but unable to use my ability. This led me to Barb Pringle and her A.W.A.R.E. Program. This program started to unlock my cell door and let me into what I considered the real world. A.W.A.R.E. is not a cure but a tool by which to enable, yourself to overcome this disability.
Some may see ‘learning disabled’ as a good thing- being able to understand so much in life – for me it will always be a curse because I understand and feel the suffering that so many people have to live with. The people, who can change this must wake up to reality and admit that maybe they have got it wrong.
Time is running out- I see the situation as a huge oil tanker loaded with oil heading towards the coast. If the brakes are not applied soon a disaster is inevitable but it will have far greater consequences than just an oil spill.
Please take a good look at what is happening and apply the brakes.

Brian Horne


Letter from Brian's wife Sue Horne

Through all the years Brian and I have together, I have watched him struggle with the problems of being learning disabled without really ever understanding what it really can be like to carry the burden and frustration of being limited in the basic skills so many of us just take for granted.
When we first met, Brian was twenty and working with his father in the family automotive repair business. It wasn’t very long after we first dated, Brian told me he was dyslexic and this was because his father also had the same problem. My understanding of this condition was probably, as most people, was ‘word blindness’ and really there wasn’t much that could be done.
I suggested maybe it might help if Brian read more. So we embarked on a print less exercise whereby Brain would read and write and I would grade him rather like a teacher!!
I adore reading and enjoy writing poetry and stories and really couldn’t understand Brain’s unwillingness and lack of confidence in carrying out simple tasks such as: writing cheques in the supermarket, and his always guarded manner in any situation which might involve writing.
It wasn’t that Brian couldn’t write but it became apparent that when put in a situation where he felt under pressure he would misspell and get himself into all sorts of problems.
Wherever we went it was always me who did the writing and in a way this was a power trip for me! I could be better than Brain and help him! For Brian the situation was very frustrating. He longed to be able to write fluently. In desperation he signed up at the local college for basic writing skill/grammar improvement classes but they proved to be unhelpful. The classes were aimed at slow learns or people who had slipped through the net of education. Brian needed some other form of help.
I found myself just wishing we could find a miracle cure. Brain was so academic in other areas: his ability to master all things technical - he had a wonderful aptitude with anything mechanical, digital etc. We were like complete opposites – I could just about set the video recorder –and yet could enjoy all the wonders of literature and Brian could have been a rocket scientist and yet struggled to survive everyday faced with the awful monster of ‘dyslexia or what we thought was dyslexia.
In 1991 we moved to Canada to live and although this was a wonderful experience it also provided some real challenges for Brian and a real test of both our staying power!
Brian was a journeyman- automotive body repair, by trade. He & his father had successfully run their own business for 12 years.
It became obvious in a short space of time that Brian would need to change his career. It was hard to find steady work and we had a mortgage to pay like everyone else!
The local college here in Victoria offered a diploma course in electronics but the prerequisites meant Brian would need to revisit math, English & physics as the credits held from school in England taken 17 yrs. ago were not valid. I phoned Camosun College to see if they could recommend anyone qualified to work with dyslexics and they gave me the name of Barb Pringle.
I remember feeling the first glimmer of hope after speaking to Barb on the phone. Her methods seemed to have a purpose. Brian and I went to see Barb together and so the stage was set for what was to be a very challenging and rewarding time. As an outsider all I could do was watch Brian as the weeks went by and he became more confident and began to really understand Barb’s methods. I could see at least Brain was beginning to feel he had a chance to at last overcome what had been such an obstacle for him all his life.
Brian re-sat his exams for college and passed! The feeling of achievement was enormous and for me a relief. I could feel so much of the tension and anger subsiding – there was hope now for Brian to change his career.
I guess that now looking back much of the frustration could have been avoided if only a program such as A.W.A.R.E. had been available in England and Brian had been present with the learning option earlier in life.
However, at least now the tools are available to continue improving. Brian enjoys his new career and for me – I just take so much pleasure in seeing him, be so confident and happy that he has been given a chance to beat his disability.
I realize though, that there are many, many less fortunate individuals who are facing the same problems and who do not have access to or maybe aren’t even aware of a program such as A.W.A.R.E. For them, their lives will be a struggle- especially in todays’ increasingly technical world where a degree or diploma can mean the difference between securing a job or not!
The program A.W.A.R.E. has to be made accessible to more people. Schools and colleges should be able to set up the program and offer real help to those students who need it. I can fully understand the need for urgency. Far too many young people are leaving school without the basics in academic skills. They will never – reach their full potential without being given the gift of learning the alternative way. Our school systems are ill equipped to cope with this at the moment.
I hope my story and this journal brings a little more awareness to anyone who takes the time to read it.

Sue Horne