Unfortunately, not all students grow up in literature-rich environments.


In a recent study of language in varying socioeconomic settings researchers found that:


  • The average welfare child heard 616 words per hour.
  • The working-class child, 1251 words per hour.
  • The professional child 2,153 per hour.
By age 3, children from high-income families have heard 30 million more words than their low-income counterparts.


Children not only start off at very different points when it comes to reading, but they all learn differently. Phonics may works for one child, the alphabet method for another, and a third may need to hear books read out loud for a long time before being able to do it themselves.


With the Synergy Pals system, educators learn effective tactics for teaching literacy to all different types of learners. The talkative chimp may need to create dramas or songs to improve reading comprehension, but that might not be so effective with thinker owls.


Literacy empowerment works because the brain responds best to information that is novel, emotionally charged, and action-oriented. Lessons have to be fun to be effective.


The Synergy approach is built around the idea that talent is not rare and special. On the contrary, we are all talented individuals. What’s rare and special is a student who finds a class that suits his or her talents. Satisfying learning experiences require that teachers understand how to engage each of their students with many different strategies based on each student’s talents.