Our model uses specific materials which we have found effective. The mix of decoding lessons, contextualized reading practice and group-building games collectively create a unique and enjoyable learning experience.

2013 Adult Non-Readers Resources (PDF)

The Bare Bones of Reading (PDF)

Decoding Program

ABeCeDarian Reading Program by Michael Bend, Ph.D.

We stress the use of a systematic, intensive, efficient program. ABeCeDarian is easy to learn, scripted to get you started, relatively inexpensive, and offers a lot  of free support materials online as well as a listserv for discussion and questions. (Note: Because the standard A level student manual has large print,  Michael Bend has published a smaller print version more appropriate for adults, so be sure to ask for that.)


REWARDS for teaching decoding multi-syllable words, from Sopris West.

Spelling Program

Sequential Spelling for Adults, 1 & 2, by Don McCabe

My students have always worried about their spelling, so we are trying this program. Students like it and it seems to fit well with our decoding instruction.

Contextualized Reading

Talk of the Block (Series) by New Readers Press

Reading practice using simple themes that apply directly to everyday life is a great way to engage students. We use the Talk of the Block series which consists of 4 main themes; Home, Health, Family and Shopping.

New Readers Press has other great titles as well, such as City Dreams, Health Stories, the Challenger series, and Easy Stories Plus, many with a bit of humor. Students also enjoy the Laubach Readers because they are some of the first stories they can read.

Wilson Reading System Student Readers and Stories for Older Students by Barbara Wilson at

Junkyard Dan series and others by Elise Leonard from Nox Press. Great adult interest novels at low reading level.

Pathfinders Series and Humour Series at Grass Roots Press at

Group Building Games

Dolch Words Bingo–This is long ago out of print, but we may be able to share masters so you can print your own.

Crazy Cards by Sound Readers

Games are a great way to add a  fun component to a program. They help to form closer relationships among students, strengthening the group as a whole. We end each learning session with Crazy Cards; a card game based on UNO and Crazy 8s that that allows for enjoyable decoding practice. There are 15 decks and each focuses on either short vowels (Crazy Shorts), long vowels (Crazy Longs), or the other vowel spellings (Crazy Mores). (Unfortunately, Crazy Mores are currently out of print.) We have adapted the game by playing with each person’s cards face up on the table so we can help each other. With the cards visible, the strategizing of the game changes because players know the cards their opponents are trying to get rid of–makes it very interesting in groups with real card sharks!