Building a strong foundation in literacy

    Ask the Experts by Angelina Spiteri

Q: My child appears to enjoy reading but seems stagnant in their development. What should I look out for to ensure my child or student is progressing in their fluency, and how can I help?

A: Reading and spelling is the end goal we all hope for, however, we may have to slow down a bit and make sure our children and students have built a strong foundation in their literacy. Continue to read books to your child that will promote a love a literature and help spark an interest in reading.

Q: What comprises a strong literacy foundation?

A: Strong phonological awareness skills are a pre-requisite to reading. Once these crucial pre-reading skills are strengthened, we know our children and students can hear and vocalize sounds to begin blending sounds into words in reading, and segmenting words into sounds in spelling.

Alphabet skills are also important in building a strong literacy foundation. Singing the alphabet and recognizing letter names will help your child and/or student associate the sound to the letter later down the road.

Reading to a child and engaging them in question answering about what they listened to is a preliminary comprehension building activity. Nothing is better than sitting down and listening to a good story, right?

Lastly, it is important to remember that this is not an easy road for all. Keeping early learning fun, engaging and positive is highly encouraged!

Angelina Spiteri-Bender is a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, Director of the Grosse Pointe Brainspring Learning Center, and Instructor at Brainspring Educator Academy. More information can be found at or by calling 800.732.3211. Brainspring Learning Center is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.

Save the Date

Don’t Let the Cuteness Factor Fool You: Speech and Reading Skills in Children

April 18, 2018
Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms

RSVP online at or call 313.447.1374.

Enriched Communities Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit, call (313) 447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236