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Today we should have 98% of students reading on grade level by the end of second grade. By addressing the needs of a child early on, we can prevent reading failure. Reading and reading disabilities are major topics of concern to the public and do constitute a public health crisis in this nation.

Teachers must be taught how to implement phonemic awareness and decoding skills into their classrooms. They also must be instructed on how to identify and work with children who need intense instruction at an early age. The underlying core deficit in comprehension is the segmenting of words. A child unable to process the sounds in words will have a difficult time segmenting. Without the ability to decode with automaticity, accuracy, and fluency, comprehension will be difficult.

Teaching all children to read has not really been addressed by our country. There is a current push to address extrinsic issues (e.g., poverty, single-parent homes, second language learners, drugs, economically disadvantaged) in education.

These issues are important but will not fix the current crisis in reading instruction and acquisition. Only intrinsic factors such as proper reading instruction will unlock the door to a literate workforce in the 21st Century

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