Cynaidah Medeva Blog: The Start of Early Reading

Postpone the alphabet until a child can read.

That seeming contradiction means reading will no longer be a problem for Education.   My experiences in the last 18 months are the best illustration that I can give.

In May of 2017, I was invited by Dr. Robert Zenhausern to coordinate the Education 21 program of the Enabling Support Foundation.  This program had a goal to bring Education into the 21st Century.  The heart of the program is a different approach to teaching reading that treats understanding the printed word as simple as understanding the spoken word.  We understand the spoken word, as a whole word, not from its individual sounds.  But with words, we start with individual letters and their sounds to create words. 

A parent teaches a child to understand speech by saying a word and pointing to an object.  In Early Reading the parent simply shows the printed word the printed word at the same time as saying.  The child will learn listening and reading at the same time.

My first task as Coordinator of Kenya for the Enabling Support Foundation was to develop the Early Reading program.  In June 2017 I contacted 8 day care centers in the slums of Nairobi and taught the teachers the use of Early Reading.  This procedure continued for 4 months, and the progress is available on video tape.  At the end of 4 months these preschool children were reading and writing 3 sentences paragraphs.

ESF used a similar program in Uganda and one of my duties was to coordinate activity with Stephan Ozelle and Andrew Mugabi in that country.  I direct Education Special Forces, which has a mission to advocate Early Reading and all the tenets of Education 21.  One of the important skills I have learned is how to delegate responsibility.  I named Boss Isigi as Director of Education and invited his 10 Bigpen schools to incorporate the Early Reading program.  I have also connected with Peace Rescue Kenya and over 20 schools have joined the program.  I am coordinating the Early Reading workshops for teachers and parents that want to learn to use the program.

Our goal is children starting school already reading and writing.  The time saved will open the curriculum to the 21st Century.

Early Reading is just the first step in Education 21.  The full program can be seen at http://www.enabling.org/ed21-2018 In the coming year, I will be collaborating with my Director of Education on the of implementation of the rest of the program.  We will use the same strategy as with Early Reading.

Education 21 is a paradygm shift for Education and I want to be part of that shift.