To celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday last week we had a promotion that was available to anyone who answered the following question:

Do you know someone whose life would be changed if they knew how to read?

child reading

Here are some of the responses we got:

  • My 17 year old daughter's life would change! Just walking down the street would be different for her!
  • The ability to read touches every area of my life - from road maps and signs to cookbooks, hymnals, and stories for my children and grandchildren.
  • My 6 year old daughter would be able to read all of her books that she loves with much ease and have more confidence in school.
  • I know a lot of kids in my class who lost their chance to read because of harsh social situations. If they knew how to read they would be independent kids with a hope for the future, and they might be able to lead a happier life than the one in their childhood.
  • I know first hand that my six year old daughter will strive academically if she could read better.

Aside from giving away a promotional code to respondent's, we also had a drawing for one of them to win free reading software! Here was the response from the winner:

My 10 year old daughter would have a radical boost to her self esteem if she could learn to read. Not to mention the world it would open if she could pass her exams at high school. She can read basic stuff below her chronological age but mostly makes sensible guesses or fills in the blanks with something that makes sense to her. The thing that she seems to struggle with the most is the fact that she has been born into a highly literate family. She is the fourth of our five children (same parents) and the only one of ours to struggle. Her younger brother is a fabulous reader and speller and would leave her gobsmacked when at five he could read words such as avalanche with ease. My daughter has a great deal of difficulty sounding words and doesn't seem to see patterns in language. Her spelling is bad and doesn't even look like the word sounds. She does try though and is acutely aware of how important it is to read. She has been taking chapter books to bed with her since she was five (pretending to read). We have had her assessed and were told she is not dyslexic but was close to the threshold to fit that diagnosis. She responded quite well to the phonics work I did with her when she was young but she was put up in class (along with her entire year because of high numbers in the years below her) and has struggled even more since then, she needed to do the basics for a lot longer.

Unfortunately she is quite stubborn and resistant to any help from the family; it's almost as if she is embarrassed to let us see her struggle. Two of her siblings have literacy cups at school beating students several years older, one has been a finalist in a national writing competition, another always scores in the top 3% of an international writing exam, one is a walking encyclopedia on Harry Potter and read an 800 page version at 7 and proceeded to correct myself and other daughter (who had also read it) on our errors of fact about the book, she was always right so she definitely understood it all. So my poor daughter is out on her own in this family. I have managed to provide some resources which have helped a bit but she is quite motivated to help herself and school doesn't do anything to help her really, they just get her hitting the brick wall constantly rather than pull back and teach her the skills to climb the wall.

I have been distracted for the past couple of years with ill health and debilitating chemo and surgeries etc, so she has slipped back even more. I think she would really benefit from a computer program that she could work through herself (with a bit of guidance) and I have been looking at your program for a year or so but with our change in circumstances we do not have the cash flow to support the purchase. She is a great kid with a real fighting spirit. She has a lot of angry outbursts which I think are born out of frustration but I think her life could radically change if she could properly learn to read.

(I know the program would be a huge help to everyone who entered, but since this story had so much detail I was glad that she was the winner! Even though I know that everyone who entered probably have just as heartbreaking of a story to tell).

Hear more stories from struggling readers in our "In Your Own Backyard" series which highlights the lives of struggling readers. >