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Reading Program

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WSVN -- These little ones are learning their letters, their numbers and even their vowels, but this isn't surprising at the Advance Learning Center in Overtown.

Kids ages one through five are learning to read thanks to a unique program created by Melvin El, former boxer who grew up in the projects with his mom.

Melvin El: "She always insisted that we finish school and it was either finish school or die."

When he became a dad, he started using music as a way to teach his own daughter. That's when he came up with a video that stars a rapping ant to teach kids how to read.

Melvin El: "It's a video they see the alphabet, they hear it, so they get the association of seeing the alphabet and hearing the sound of the alphabet at the same time."

It's called Learning To Read With M-C Ant Tanna. Melvin says the program uses music to capture a child's attention, but he says it's not about memorizing words.

Melvin El: "When kids finish this program they have the ability to sound out words they have never seen before, that's the power of phonics."

Before adding the program to their curriculum, educators at the center say the kids were struggling.

Sharon Troy: "There was an outcry by the parents my children can't read, my children have no comprehension."

Now they are flourishing.

Melvin El: "Children leave here reading easily on a second or third grade level."

Parents agree their kids are making huge strides.

Melvin El: "She knows her vowels, she knows her sounds, she knows how to pronounce a word in a sentence."

Lynn Martinez: "The Advance Learning Center already has a long waiting list of children and is hoping to expand through state and private funding."


Learn to Read with M.C. Ant

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