Does your child read at a proficient reading level? National statistics paint a bleak picture.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 90 percent of eighth-graders in Washington, D.C., 81 percent in New Mexico, 80 percent in Mississippi and Nevada, 78 percent in Louisiana, California and Hawaii, 74 percent in Texas, and 73 percent in Florida were reading at a level below proficiency in 2003. At least 63 percent of eighth-graders in 32 other states read at a level below proficiency.
To assist educators and parents in helping children become more proficient in reading, SFK Media Specially For Kids Corp. provides an innovative learning program called ReadEnt. It blends reading with entertaining movies to teach and improve vocabulary and comprehension. These Reading Movies use a patented technology called "Action Captions," which show each spoken word on-screen, in real-time, as a character speaks.
According to SFK Media, this type of captioning is effective in improving the rate of vocabulary development and comprehension. The words become ingrained in the children's minds and, therefore, both reading and spoken language skills develop naturally.
"[Students] watching these Reading Movies, even though they think they are just watching a movie that is entertaining, ... are comprehending words. They are reading whether they realize that they are or not," said Chelsee Atkins, an educator and reading specialist in Florida. "If they sit down and watch a couple of these movies each week, they are spending 10 hours a week reading."
ReadEnt's Reading Movies are available as interactive DVD programs for use on the TV or computer and include such classic titles as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tales of Gulliver's Travels" and "The Trojan Horse." They can be used in a variety of different teaching configurations: as a shared experience on a single television monitor; as a guided activity, where a group of students interact on their own computers; and as a one-to-one tutorial, in which the teacher or parent assesses the child's comprehension and vocabulary recognition.
"Learning is playing in its best sense, and entertainment should be learning," said Joy Esterberg, a language skills specialist at Baruch College in New York. "This program is a wonderful marriage between learning and entertainment."