Community Reading Project Newsletter #1

Newsletter #1.    25 October, 2016


There are lots of new and exciting things going on at the Community Reading Project.  And one of them is this newsletter.  If you are on our mailing list, then we have already met, but let us re-introduce ourselves.

We are not a business.  We are concerned volunteers. parents, tutors, educators, and activists.  Our friends and families have been touched by reading failure.  We know that reading failure is devastating,  Struggling readers face school failure, barriers to employment, mental health issues, and difficulty at every step in life from filling forms to finding a mate.

The Community Reading Project has three goals:

  • ·       Talk about Reading Failure: Parents never talk to other parents about their child’s learning difficulties, and educators aren’t forthright when students fall behind. Many parents don’t realize their child is struggling, or how to get help. Some are in denial, others are too embarrassed, some trust in their school, and others don’t know where to get help.  Nothing will change for a struggling child until we start an open and honest discussion about reading failure.

  • ·       Explain the Research:  Psychologists have a clear idea of how normal children learn to read, and what can go wrong. The complexity of the English spelling system, poor education methods, a missed skill such as phoneme blending, and the “Matthew Effect” feedback loop fully explain reading failure in normal students.  There is no evidence for folk theories like “learning styles” or “processing differences”.
  • ·       Offer Free Tools and Support:  Our tools are based on proven practices, easy-to-use, and focused on repairing the specific skill deficits that characterize dyslexia.  There is no magic pill however,  it takes months of diligent daily drills and practice to help a struggling reader catch up with his peers.  If you decide to do it then we’ll be there to show you how, with free tools, support and encouragement.

Our focus is helping parents.  We hope that once your own child overcomes a reading deficit, then you will become an activist and help other parents help their kids.  Your child surely knows which kids in class are even farther behind, and you will know what to do.



CRP front doorWe have opened a clinic in Toronto, at 2016 Bathurst Street (just south of Eglinton).  It is open 9:00 AM to Noon, five days a week, or by appointment.  416-230-4974.  Feel free to drop in and talk about your child’s reading.

We are currently using the space as a drop-in clinic where we can meet with parents, assess their child’s reading,  and lay out a path for getting that child back on track.  We demonstrate the techniques; how to use our free software tools, how to read with a child, how to do a repeated-reading drill.

Our idea is to engage with parents in the local community, who talk to each other and know the other kids on the street.

Our place is also available as a community space. Right we only use it on weekday mornings for meetings with parents, but our space is also available for literacy events.  There are lots of great ideas that don’t happen because space is so expensive in this city.  If a volunteer wants to organize an after-school reading club, run a course, or put on a theater production, come and talk to us.

CRP interiorWe can rent our space to reading tutors, when it not be possible to train a student at home (noisy family, barking dog, etc).  The Community Reading Project is a quiet professional space that is perfect for reading.

We have lots of space for storing books, and we hope to run book drives to collect them.  We love giving away books, and hand them out to anyone who stops in.  We happily accept books that your child has outgrown, and will find a good home for them.

If you are passing by, then please drop in and say hello.



There are two new posts on our “Dyslexia Research” blog.

Matthew Effects in Reading reviews the classic paper by Dr Keith Stanovich on how small early differences in reading ability can explode into a huge achievement gap between strong and weak readers.  It provides a framework for thinking about success and failure in reading, and suggests how to correct reading deficits with an attack at the key skill deficits.

Sight-Recognition Words provide the smooth highway of skilled reading.  This post might help explain the mechanics behind some of your child’s reading difficulties, and might suggest ways of overcoming them.




Click here for our website.  It has lots of free training materials and information for parents.

Click here to join our closed Facebook group.  It is a private place to discuss your child’s needs and help other parents.  Your posts won’t appear on your timeline, and won’t be visible to your friends.



Contact us:

Tom Berend
(416) 230-4974  (text or voice)

Visit us:

Community Reading Project
2016 Bathurst St. (just south of Eglinton)
Toronto, Canada.



Posted in ReadingBlog

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