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$6,915 pledged of $70,000 goal
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By Melanie Herrmann
$6,915 pledged of $70,000 goal
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About this project

 OVERVIEW:  

We live in an economically competitive world with increasing pressure on our children to win the global education race. Yet only 1/3 of American 4th graders are at reading proficiency. 

Christian's Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony 6/6/2013
Christian's Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony 6/6/2013

We also live in an increasingly digital world. Roughly 73% of the world uses a mobile device and in some countries more people have access to mobile devices than to clean drinking water.

Tablets as Teachers in Ethiopia (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)
Tablets as Teachers in Ethiopia (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

To give our children the chance they deserve we must begin with the foundational skill of READING.

I want to help them. It's been my dream to help children everywhere learn to read.

And THIS PROJECT is an answer. It is an answer for busy parents, over-worked teachers, home schools, public schools AND English Language Learners (ELLs) worldwide.

From the youngster at your dinner table to the ELL halfway around the world, The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App series will guide children  as a teacher would  to early reading,  providing the skills and practice necessary to happily and successfully teach all young children. 

THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL ABC APP

It is a real program, created by a real teacher, in real classrooms, with real children.

The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App is a COMPLETE early reading program. Costing just pennies to access, children sing, move and play their way to reading fluency.

Based on the latest research in brain-based learning, the ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program includes over 180 engaging early reading activities that systematically teach print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition and fluency.

It is the start to reading every child deserves.

And for as little as $10, you can help!

Sample Images of the ABCs and All of Me Alphabet Song App and Corresponding Games:

Menu Page
Menu Page

Video of Letter Aa page gives an approximate idea of how the ABCs and All of Me Alphabet Song app will work:

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Other sample images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of the above pages will link to four corresponding letter games providing plenty of playful practice (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) for mastery of letter names and sounds. Games vary letter to letter. Be sure to check out our adorable alphabet picture graphics under Extras.

*Russel Moore, App Designer  

Does it start with Letter Aa?  Feed it to the alligator!
Does it start with Letter Aa? Feed it to the alligator!

 

Letter Aa Chant Chart.  Snap, clap, and tap along!
Letter Aa Chant Chart. Snap, clap, and tap along!

 

Search, say, produce while listening to Classical Aa
Search, say, produce while listening to Classical Aa

 

Listen to Classical A as you create and explore!
Listen to Classical A as you create and explore!

 

Beginning Sound Growing Game.  Tap the objects that start with the /a/ sound before they pop off the page!
Beginning Sound Growing Game. Tap the objects that start with the /a/ sound before they pop off the page!

 

First red, then yellow, then blue.  Let me pick the right letter for you!
First red, then yellow, then blue. Let me pick the right letter for you!

 

ABCs and All of Me Beginning Sound Sort
ABCs and All of Me Beginning Sound Sort

What I Need:

My Funding Goal is $70,000 USD to finance the creation and development of Phase 1 of ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App Program.

My Stretch Goal is $210,000 to support the development of the COMPLETE program -- Phases 1,  2 and 3 -- and take children everywhere to reading fluency. 

"That's a lot of money."

Yes, it is.   

But did you know illiteracy is costing American taxpayers $20 billion a year?   

If we teach them to read, we'll reduce the need . . . .

Rewards for backing the project range from The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App Phase I (Alphabet song and over 100 supporting activities) -- to Professional Development and support by Melanie Herrmann for a school of your choice, including the App Program, Downloadable Classroom Program and materials for a year. See REWARDS

PROJECT DETAILS   * for those who like the nitty-gritty

Why Literacy, Why Me, The Program, Who It's Helping, How You Can Help

WHY BACK A LITERACY PROJECT?

Literacy is the door to opportunity. The ability to read and write empowers us to learn, to thrive, to become contributing members of society. Yet over 774 million adults in the world lack basic reading and writing skills.

How can we improve literacy? The best place to start is with our children. An accessible, systematic and stress-free approach to reading in the early years is the answer.

English Literacy

In the U.S. Despite the efforts of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and millions of dollars spent on reading programs, only one-third of American 4th graders are proficient in reading and statistics show the other two-thirds will never catch up. Twenty percent of all Americans read below the level needed to earn a wage. Illiteracy is costing American taxpayers $20 billion a year.

The U.S. ranks 26th in the world for Literacy.
The U.S. ranks 26th in the world for Literacy.

In the World: The most widely spread and fastest growing language in the world today is English, with over 840 million primary and secondary users worldwide. Globally, English is becoming the dominant language of business and scientific research.

Children worldwide with an access to education are being taught to SPEAK English at a very young age. What is lacking is an English reading and writing program for children to go hand-in-hand with English speaking programs.

Ricardo, ELL,  and The ABCs and All of Me Big Book
Ricardo, ELL, and The ABCs and All of Me Big Book

 

Letter Pp Activity Mats used with Classical Pp --  Kiev, Ukraine -- ILP
Letter Pp Activity Mats used with Classical Pp -- Kiev, Ukraine -- ILP

 

Letter Tt Writing Sheets with Classical Tt -- Voronezh, Russia -- ILP
Letter Tt Writing Sheets with Classical Tt -- Voronezh, Russia -- ILP

There are other children with no access to formal education . . . children without a place to call home. An estimated 60 million refugees are in the world today -- that's one in every 122 people -- and half of these are children.

 

ABCs and All of Me -- Uganda Orphanage -- USU Students
ABCs and All of Me -- Uganda Orphanage -- USU Students

Who has the responsibility to teach the children at home or across the world to read?

Parents say it’s the school’s responsibility.

Schools say they need more help from home.

Philanthropists believe we should teach ALL children.

We all wish we could do more. If only we had more time, energy, and resources to meet the monumental need.

WHY I CAN HELP:

First, I'm crazy enough to think I can do it, but not on my own. I need God's help and yours.

• I am the mother of five capable children, two with neurological challenges (TBI, NLD and epilepsy). I have prayerfully researched and been trained in interventions to help them thrive despite challenges.

• Since graduating college with a BS and MS in Early Childhood Education I have taught preschool, kindergarten, Resource and ESL.

• I am a certified Brain Trainer and Co-Producer of the Brain Change 4 You Podcast.* I use the principles of brain-based learning (frequency and duration, intensity, and engagement) in my work with children and adults.

• As a National Rep for the Council for Professional Early Childhood Recognition (CDA) I have assessed hundreds of early childhood providers in Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP).

These opportunities and challenges have helped me become a better mother, a better teacher, a better child advocate.

But in 2004 – on the brink of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – I returned to teaching Kindergarten in the public schools. My class of bright to severely at-risk children had to reach academic benchmarks and I had to get them there. Sleepless and discouraged by less than ideal District methods, I wanted to find a happy, engaging, whole-child approach to reading. Teachers were under pressure to pull students in from PE, library and art for intervention.**

“This is all backwards,” I thought. Music, movement and sensory experiences help the brain remember. We were taking children away from the things that truly help them. Sitting in a chair repeating letter names and sounds is neither engaging nor appropriate. An uninterested brain cannot learn.

I was not alone in my discouragement. Newsweek told of parents moving their families across town to spare their anxious, tearful kindergartners from the pressures of their current school districts.

The New First Grade -- Too Much Too Soon
The New First Grade -- Too Much Too Soon

 

There had to be a better way. I spoke to my district about DAP and asked for a more appropriate program. I was a CDA Rep, after all.

The district had just invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their current reading program. They had nothing more to offer. A curriculum director said to me, “you are creative, Melanie. Why don’t you come up with something?”

I’m sure the challenge was a joke, but I prayed for help and went to work. With the guidance of classrooms full of kindergarten and ESL students over the next five years, the ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program was created and refined. Artistic family and friends, willing and eager to help, were recruited.

The program engages both bright and at-risk children in systematic sensory experiences with visual, auditory and tactile cues. Children see, hear, sing, move, and feel their way to reading fluency.

Autistic, ADHD, and other learning-challenged children learn to read. Because music and movement are universal languages, ELLs learn to read with this program, too.  

This video is a quick over-view of the program in action:

A real program, created in a real classroom, with real children, by a real teacher

Click for details
Click for details

 

Click for details
Click for details

Second, I LEARN FROM EVERY CHILD I TEACH

Children learn best:

• by seeing, hearing, singing and moving (the multi-sensory, whole child approach)

• using a systematic approach (purposeful and sequential)

• while actively participating (engagement--paying attention)

• in activities just slightly above their comfort level (intensity)

• with plenty of playful practice (frequency/duration)

How movement and our senses activate the brain for learning
How movement and our senses activate the brain for learning

Neuroplasticity and brain-based learning research is spot on.

But can an App format adhere to the principles of early childhood learning (DAP) and Neuroplasticity?

Yes!! As your child spends time with the ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App they will be:

Children listen to Classical Jj while engaged in these sample learning activities:

Letter Jj Activity Mat
Letter Jj Activity Mat

 

Letter Jj Writing and Beginning Sound Sheet
Letter Jj Writing and Beginning Sound Sheet

Click to hear Jaime and Kaycee sing Classical Jj:

 

 Click to hear Kaycee, Paisley, Macy Jo and Mary sing our Alphabet Song:

When the children have completed Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the program they will be reading the ABCs and All of Me Early Readers, too!

ABCs and All of Me Early Readers and Activities
ABCs and All of Me Early Readers and Activities

Nadia reads Go Car, Go!  -- the  ABCs and All of Me Early Reader for Letter Cc.  She demonstrates blending and decoding, print concepts, and high frequency word recognition and fluency -- all built from the foundation of our ABCs and All of Me Alphabet Song.  Notice how the book is interactive.  She names the characters in the story and colors it herself.

 


One of the most rewarding moments of my teaching career came the day  I asked Jiovanni, my ELL 1st grader from Mexico, who he was going to read “Happy Hippo” to that day.

He replied, “I’m going to read it to the whole wide world!  I'm going to read it to the MOON!”

Now THAT is happy reading:)

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

What I have done: 

  • I have spent over 10 years and nearly $50,000 on the development and production of the ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program.
  • Including 180 systematic lessons, it is priced at just $50 USD
  •  A hard-copy classroom Big Book and CD are also available.
  • The program is being used by a limited number of preschools/homeschools/public school classrooms in the US.
  •  I have offered the program and support to at-risk schools at no charge so it can help the very children who need it.
  •  I have sent the program to the President of the United States and other influential individuals
  • The program IS being used with ELL children by the International Language Program in over 22 schools in China, Russian, Ukraine, Thailand, Lithuania, Dominican Republic and Mexico where parents are investing in their children's future through literacy and the English language. 
  • Children in orphanages in Ghana and Uganda thrived with the program when taught by college interns, but need follow-up and follow through when the students leave.

WHAT I NEED:

• I am looking for $70,000 USD to finance the creation of Phase 1 of ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App Program. Production costs include app developer and designer fees, audio and video recording fees, talent stipends, shipping of rewards and travel expenses to sponsored schools. 

• I will begin with the development of an iOS system of Phase 1. This includes The ABCS and All of Me Sing-a-Long Interactive Song book and over 100 supporting games to guarantee mastery of the 26 letters of the alphabet. (Covers English Language Arts Standards and Reading Foundational Skills for Kindergarten: Print Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition, and Fluency (CCSS/ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1, 2, 3, 4).

My Stretch Goal is $210,000 to support the development of the COMPLETE program -- Phases 1, 2 and 3 -- and take children everywhere to reading fluency.
  • Any additional monies beyond the $70,000 USD funding goal will go toward development of Phase II and III of the program. When completed, children will be fluently reading the interactive ABC Early Readers.

Next will be the development of an android application (for the international market) and then a school interface system.

The school interface system will allow teachers to assign and track homework through the app series making it both paper and hassle free for parent and teacher, and engaging for the child.

Prizes/Rewards available for pledges from $10 USD to $10,000 USD and will include free access to the app series, supportive downloads to the hard-copy program, the full color Classroom Big Book and CD, your child on the loading page of the App,  and the opportunity to sponsor an entire school with the App program, downloadable materials, classroom big book and a full year of program support by Melanie Herrmann:)  See Rewards for details.

Other games and graphics to be used in our early reading App series, PHASE 1:

There will be four supporting games/activities for each letter of the Alphabet--designed with the auditory, visual and tactile cues from the ABCs and All of Me Song App:

Menu Page
Menu Page

 

Game Images
Game Images

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics
Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

Game Graphics
Game Graphics

 

More Graphics
More Graphics

 Extras:

*Brain Change 4 You YOUTUBE podcast with Nick Herrmann:

Brain Change 4 You -- Neurofeedback
Brain Change 4 You -- Neurofeedback

 

Click to hear Melanie Herrmann on ABCs and All of Me
Click to hear Melanie Herrmann on ABCs and All of Me

 

USU Students in Ghana and Uganda teach the ABCs and All of Me:

 

 


Letter Mm Writing with Classical M in Kaiyin, China:

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Letter Mm Writing with Classical M -- Kaiyin, China
Letter Mm Writing with Classical M -- Kaiyin, China

 

Risks and challenges

As I have hopefully described in my story, this project is a 10 year work-in-progress. I have learned every step of the way. I like to be up-to-date with the latest research, and as I study and learn new information I like to implement it. So the ABCs and All of Me Early Reading App will have regular updates, I am sure. This will be challenging, but I want it to be the best it can be in teaching young children EVERYWHERE to read English.

My expertise is in teaching, not App development. I will have to depend greatly on my App Developers and Designers. I expect they will know and understand the ins and outs of getting the App into the iOS and Android markets. I am also very opinionated. I know what I like and what I don't. Sometimes it is hard for me to take feedback that challenges what I like. I will bend on design things, but I will be true to Developmentally Appropriate Practice and what I know and feel to be best for children.

And I will be praying each step of the way:)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series - Phase 1
    Includes The ABCs and All of Me Interactive Song and over 100 games ensuring mastery of all 26 letter names and sounds.

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    The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series - Phase 1
    Includes The ABCs and All of Me Interactive Song and over 100 games ensuring mastery of all 26 letter names and sounds.

    *Downloads to Full Color ABC Activity Mats, Find the Letter Coloring and Writing Sheets, and The Classical ABC soundtrack. See
    http://allofmeliteracy.com/downloadable.html

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    The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series - Phase 1
    Includes The ABCs and All of Me Interactive Song and over 100 games ensuring mastery of all 26 letter names and sounds.

    *Downloads to COMPLETE ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program for home use (lifetime) or license for classroom use for one academic year. Takes children with little or no alphabet knowledge to reading fluency in 180 days. See
    http://allofmeliteracy.com/downloadable.html

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series - Phase 1
    Includes The ABCs and All of Me Interactive Song and over 100 games ensuring mastery of all 26 letter names and sounds.

    *Hard copy of the Full Color ABCs and All of Me Big Book and CD

    Downloads to complete ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program for home use (lifetime) or license for classroom use for one academic year. Takes children with little or no alphabet knowledge to reading fluency in 180 days. See
    http://allofmeliteracy.com/downloadable.html

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series - Phase 1
    Includes The ABCs and All of Me Interactive Song and over 100 games ensuring mastery of all 26 letter names and sounds.

    *ABCs and All of Me App Series Phase 2 (December 2016) and Phase 3 (Sept 2017)

    Hard copy of ABCs and All of Me Big Book and CD

    Downloads to complete ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program for home use (lifetime) or license for classroom use for one academic year. Takes children with little or no alphabet knowledge to reading fluency in 180 days.
    See http://allofmeliteracy.com/downloadable.html

    **Your child's picture on the loading page of the app (minimum of 1 year)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SPONSOR A SCHOOL!!!

    Melanie Herrmann (and team) will travel to and train the teachers at a school of your choice in the implementation of The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program.

    Included will be access to The ABCs and All of Me Early Reading Program App Series-- Phases 1, 2, and 3-- for each student (as completed), a school license to the downloadable program for one academic year, and online/phone support/consulation with Melanie Herrmann for the entire 2016/17 or 2017/18 academic year.

    If you choose the 2016-17 school year we will move forward with teacher training and support using the hands-on program in the Fall adding the app series as completed.

    *Names of at-risk schools can be provided.

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Funding period

- (30 days)