FREE Early Reading Screenings Offered

Date: 9/17/2011


Trident Academy, a recognized leader in literacy education, is offering free early reading screenings to kindergarten and first grade students. These screenings will test the student’s ability to manipulate words and sounds (phonological awareness), which are a good indicator of whether the student will encounter difficulty in learning to read.

These free early reading screenings will be held on October 20, November 17 or December 15, 2011 at 1:00 or 2:30 p.m. at Trident Academy (1455 Wakendaw Dr., Mt. Pleasant, SC). Additional screenings may also be offered in 2012. The screenings will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing

During the assessment, an educator trained in the Orton-Gillingham method will talk with the student one-on-one, using prompts to test rhymes, blending, syllables, etc. Based on the student’s answers, the educator will be able to estimate the degree of difficulty the student may have in learning to read.

“Early intervention is so important because many reading problems can be prevented,” says Sheila Costello, M.S., Academy of Orton-Gillingham Fellow and Trident Academy director of LEAD and OutReach Services. “By strengthening young students’ phonological awareness, you are setting them up for success in reading.”

Phonological awareness is crucial to success in early reading. It is the “umbrella” that overarches many pre-reading skills: the ability to recognize that sentences are made up of words; recognize the boundaries of words, understand that words are made up of syllables and sounds, and to manipulate individual sounds in words.

“Parents can help their children with phonological awareness without their child even realizing,” says Corbin Bettencourt, M.S., and director of admissions at Trident Academy. “You can play alliterative games or make up silly words by changing beginning sounds. You can make up rhymes or fin rhyming words while reading poetry together. Each activity is a learning experience for a child, especially when embedded in play. Children’s play is their work and is a natural way for them to learn key phonological skills that are the foundation for early reading success.”

For more information and ideas about building phonological awareness:

For more information about the screenings, contact Corbin Bettencourt at or 843-884-7046.


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