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While charities tend to be palliative, revolutions are preventative, restorative, game changing and liberating. Here's to the literacy revolution!

It's time to start a literacy revolution.  Here's why we need it and how to do it.

Whether you're a parent, a teacher, an educator, a Ph.D. in linguistics, a tutor, a reading specialist, a linguist or a concerned adult in your community, one thing is as certain as night meets day: the English written code is broken; and this has led to a literacy crisis of epic proportions in America's public schools.  Somewhere between twent and twenty-four percent (24%) of the ENTIRE Millennial generation is COMPLETELY illiterate!  All those kids went to school.  We spent on average more than $10,000 per year on each of these students, so what happened?

What happened is the English written code is broken, and it's incredibly difficult to teach using the traditional methods our schools use today.  So, according to the U.S. Government's Annual Report card, 22% of ALL 8th grade students are COMPLETELY illiterate and another 42% are considered "below proficient," a euphemism for "functionally illiterate." Together that adds up to 64% of America's public school students who will either drop out or graduate without EVER becoming proficient in reading.  (We wish we were making these numbers up; but we aren't!)

The difficulty of teaching reading, combined with a variety of social, cultural and political factors, too numerous to mention here, have conspired to create a literacy crisis that has led to an education crisis in America that is truly the defining social crisis of our time.  The education crisis is the root cause of poverty, crime and so many other social and economic crises that we face moving forward into the future.

So how do we fix it?  The answer is: we at Youth Lit have already done the hard part.  We've figured out the problem, we've developed the solution, and now it's time to scale!

Here's the basic information: the English language has 44 sounds; but unless you studied linguistics in college, you don't know what they are. Nobody does.

That's 90% of the problem.  In Finland, every child is literate.  And guess what?  Every child knows EVERY sound of the Finnish language. And the reason is simple: it's because every sound in the Finnish language has exactly ONE corresponding letter in the Finnish alphabet.  So if you know the alphabet, you know the sounds of the language.

By contrast, the English alphabet is broken.  We borrowed it from the Romans.  It was never meant for English and it was never modified to fit the English spoken language.  (It works great for Latin.) Spoken English has 20 vowel sounds but our alphabet has only 5 written vowels?  We're missing 75% of our vowels.  We're also missing a bunch of other letters.  No wonder it's hard for kids to learn how to read.

Ok, so how do we fix it?  The fix comes by copying a good idea (not a good idea, an amazingly simple, awesome idea) that some anonymous linguist thought up more than 1,000 years ago.  Here's the story: the ancient Arabic and Hebrew writing systems were originally created without vowels.  Big mistake.  People had a hard time learning how to read and they mispronounced important names in the Bible and Quran. About a thousand years ago, some creative language specialist invented a patch to fix the broken Arabic code.  The Hebrew scholars followed suit.  The patch that was created was a special set of vowels called diacritics that were written above and below the original text.  You've probably seen or heard of this.  The diacritics added back the missing data so people could actually read without making mistakes and without beating their heads against a wall trying to decipher a broken code.  It was that simple.

Fast forward about 1,000 years.  The most successful education system among all western nations is Finland's; and, the Finnish written code is considered to be one of the most precise phonetic codes in the world with a direct one to one correspondence between written symbols and spoken sounds?  America's students rank 24th in reading among developed nations and 35th in math. (If kids can't read, they can't read math books and they can't do word problems in math.) In Finland, kids don't even start formal education until they're 7 years old, yet, within a short time they have a 100% literacy rate among students. This didn't just make us wonder whether our education crisis was somehow related to our broken, "quasi-phonetic" written code, it was the "smoking gun."

What we've created at the American Youth Literacy Foundation is an ENTIRELY NEW WAY to teach reading to children! It's based on cutting edge science of the brain and what we now know, through extensive, universal scientific research, to be the method by which we humans decode written words and turn them into meaningful dialogue in our minds; AND, it's based on Hebrew and Arabic 2.0, the updated code that fixed the missing vowel problem more than 1,000 years ago for those two languages; AND it's based on the 44 sounds of the English language that EVERY child should know before they enter kindergarten; AND it's based on the indisputable, fundamental principle of blending sound symbols together to form words known as "phonics."

Our game changing reading tools reinvent the way phonics is taught, making it easy, pain free and stress free for young children to learn how to read.  

So if you believe in our youth, and you believe in educational equality, and you believe that literacy is the gateway to freedom, and that illiteracy is an unconscionable injustice, then talk to us about a solution that is as simple as training wheels and that will scale to reach millions of children, talk to us about reading, the literacy crisis, the education crisis, global literacy, global ESL, phonemic awareness, phonics, the REAL science of reading, how to solve one of the most incredibly complex social crises of our time, the 1.2 million high school students who drop out of our public schools each year, our broken English code, 24% illiteracy among 2nd-9th grade public school students, more than 50% combined illiteracy and functional illiteracy among all public school students, how to REALLY change the reading learning equation, how to make a REAL difference not only within our lifetimes, but within the next decade, how to save one child, or thousands of children or millions of children from becoming illiterate, how to teach one child or thousands or millions of children how to read without stress, anxiety or frustration!  Talk to us about starting a literacy revolution in your home, neighborhood, community, pre-school or daycare center, private school, homeschool, charter school or public school.  

You'll hear lots of people talking about disruptors, interruptors and revolutionaries, but when the rubber meets the road, they fear change and become the staunch soldiers of the status quo.  We'll show you an exponentially better way of teaching reading that's 1,000 years overdue, will provide your child and / or your students with a faster, simpler, easier way to learn phonemic awareness, phonics, blending, segmentation, basic decoding, fluency and comprehension.  It's called FUNetix and it's free!  We could charge you thousands of dollars for our materials; but we're not starting a corporation, we're starting a revolution!  And you, and ALL of the high school students, the college students AND the adults who've gone through our training over the past 7 years and who have taught thousands of kids how to read are a part of that revolution.  Jump to this link to access our 12 hour comprehensive training and certification program and download our comprehensive reading curriculum for free, so that you can become a literacy expert too.  We'll teach you EVERYTHING you need to know about how to teach reading to children.

We're not saying there aren't a lot of good reading programs out there, ones that teach phonics without training wheels; we're just saying they're frustrating, painful and don't scale past the 50% mark for the general population.  They require intensive adult intervention; and for those children who don't receive this kind of attention, they fail.  They fail, they will continue to fail, and there's no wishful thinking or good intentions that will change 50 years of hard data.  More than 50% of American students are failing at reading.

What we ARE saying is that if you're not using FUNetix, the Phonibet and Kindercode (the 3 components of our patented comprehensive reading decoding system), then you might as well be riding a horse and buggy instead of driving a Tesla; you might as well be trying to teach your own 4 year old child how to ride a bike without training wheels.  Good luck with that!  Hope you have a lot of bandaids and popsicles for the skinned knees and bruised ego.

Or, you can click here to become an expert in ALL things literacy, to learn everything you need to know to teach reading to children the fun, easy, painless way that's exponentially faster and more effective than any other phonics program, period. 

What's old is new again.  The fundamentals of reading and writing have never actually changed.  It's only we who lost our way.  Reading is simple.  It's not rocket science.  Any 5 year old can learn how.  Click here to get started.  Thank you for taking the first step with us towards this literacy revolution and for joining us on this journey to save, literally, millions of children from a life of darkness and poverty : )

Mr. R. Kali Woodward
Executive Director
American Youth Literacy Foundation

Connect with the founder and Executive Director of Youth Lit by clicking here.

Welcome to the American Youth Literacy Foundation (Youth Lit) Home Page.  

Imagine if you could do something AMAZING to help someone else.  Try to imagine what the face of a child looks like when the "Light Goes On" for the very first time and they finally understand what it means to read, even if they've been struggling for years and fallen behind their classmates.  Here is an opportunity for you to give someone a gift that no one can ever take away, a gift that will last a lifetime.  We help underprivileged children, gifted children, ALL children.  We help teens and young adults and we help you and the people you know and love.

America has a reading problem.  24% of American public school children in grades 2-9 are completely illiterate despite the fact that many school districts spend over $15,000 per year per on each student's education. This literacy crisis has deep roots but is primarily caused by the difficulty of the English written code.  The volunteers of Youth Lit are REVERSING the Literacy Crisis in America using an advanced technology for teaching reading, and as we reverse the literacy crisis we are also reversing the Education Crisis in America that is causing 1.2 million students to drop out of high school each year. 

At Youth Lit we are building a "Benevolent Hurricane" of human energy, human experience, human compassion and human connectivity to bring literacy and opportunity to America's "New New Poor," the 48 million intellectually and educationally impoverished Millennials in the United States and the millions of children in the generations behind them, who either cannot read or are considered "Functionally Illiterate." 

Thank you for connecting with us and for liking on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other social media. It is very important for us to connect. Connecting is an integral component of our mutual success, so if you want to make a true impact on the Education Crisis in America today, we have the tools that can make it possible.  Please connect with us on our Facebook fan page or click here to sign up to become a tutor. Thank you for your interest and determination  : ) ~Mr. R. Kali Woodward, Executive Director


The mission of the American Youth Literacy Foundation is to help ALL American children become literate before they reach the end of 5th grade by providing simple, phonics-based tools and reading curricula, together with training and support, to parents, teachers, tutors and organizations that work directly with students in need.

In support of our mission, Youth Lit develops and directs free after school tutoring programs in association with public libraries, YMCA's and other community outreach organizations.  Most of our tutors are high school and college student volunteers who are earning community service credits while making a valuable contribution to their communities.

We are always looking for new participants. Give us a call anytime or email.

Our doors are always open.

Call (215) 868-1098 for information.

"This year of tutoring really was special to me . . . Not only did I learn the patience and understanding one needs to be a teacher, I learned how special some kids really are, and how much they impact you. Someone told me a quote once that I thought was really sweet. I may have switched it up a bit, but it goes something like this: "People come into your life; some for years, and some for just a season, but all the people that come into your life do so for a reason."
~Christina, Youth Lit Tutor
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Download the Phonibet for FREE!

Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine, so after moving to a new community, I knew how I wanted to make my mark. After a bit of searching, I came across the American Youth Literacy Foundation. Right away the program was impressive, and YouthLit provided me with an option to volunteer in a way I had never thought possible. During the training program while learning the Phonibet, I couldn’t help but show my family the unique symbols for the sounds of the English language and spurt out all the new information I’d learned. Infomercial for YouthLit? Here I come.  More...
In giving to the American Youth Literacy Foundation, you help us to continue serving the children in your community while helping us reverse the literacy crisis nationwide.  The American Youth Literacy Foundation is a 501(C) (3) charitable non-profit dedicated to insuring that all American children learn how to read by the end of 5th grade.  All donations made using this form WILL help a child learn how to read.  You have the ability to help provide a child with free one-on-one tutoring for a year by giving $50 today.  Allow yourself to make a difference.  Your donation will be tax deductible.  Please consult your individual tax advisor for details.  Thank you for giving : )