Frequently Asked Question Sheet
Q: What is the goal of the crowdfunding campaign?
A: To raise funds to share the Alpha-Mania reading program with many more around the world through multi-media platforms: storybooks, e-books, apps, a website, and a web series. Also, we aim to reach one million children with free downloads, subscriptions, etc. when the platforms first launch.
Q: What does Alpha-Mania teach?
A: Alpha-Mania teaches pre-reading skills that are essential in learning to read and write. In addition to teaching sound-symbol correspondence (phonics), it teaches phonological awareness skills that help children identify and manipulate parts within words.
Q: What is Alpha-Mania and where did it come from?
A: Alpha-Mania was developed by Ruth Rumack 15 years ago as a theme-based pre-reading program, and has been run in at-home lessons, camps, and in daycares across Canada.
Q: How will you reach one million children?
A: After reaching each individual fundraising goal, RRLS will give away downloads and copies of the different Alpha-Mania platforms. Upon reaching our largest financial goal of $1 million, RRLS will be able to distribute 4,000 free book sets to libraries and schools, 5,000 free e-books, 10,000 free app downloads, 5,000 year-long classroom subscriptions to the Alpha-Mania website, and will release its Alpha-Maniacs web series.
Q: How do Alpha-Mania storybooks teach pre-reading skills?
A: Each book within a 5 book series focuses on a different skill of phonological awareness: rhyming, alliteration, blending, segmenting, and sound manipulation. The elements of these skills are woven into the narrative so that those reading the books can encourage children to actively practice each skill. Also, phonics activities are included on each page; children look for pictures that begin with a particular letter sound, or search for letters within the illustrations.
Q: What does Alpha-Mania teach children?
A: In the first level of Alpha-Mania for children ages 3-5, the program focuses on pre-reading skills. These include learning to name and identify letters and their sounds, letter formation and, most importantly, phonological awareness skills. These skills allow children to hear and manipulate the sounds and parts within words. Skills include rhyming, alliteration, blending sounds, segmenting sounds, and sound manipulation.
Q: Why will my child like Alpha-Mania?
A: Alpha-Mania is a theme-based program. It incorporates multi-sensory, kinesthetic activities, crafts, songs, lessons, and games that are structured around theme, which allows children to learn and experience words and letters through play. Each lesson features a different “letter of the day,” which corresponds with a theme-based anchor word to give context and meaning to the learning. For examples, in the Ocean theme, children learn the letter “S” and use “Starfish“ as a key word to identify and remember the sound.
The Essay Coach
Q: How is The Essay Coach different from other sites?
A: The Essay Coach will not write your essay for you. The aim of the program is to develop the skills and understanding of essay writing in order to complete assignments independently. Each lesson introduces and teaches students about a different component of essay writing with explicit instructions and examples, giving students the opportunity to practice new skills before applying them to the essay they are working on. Students can work on a school assignment, or simply complete the program and an essay for enrichment in order to prepare for future assignments.
Q: Who are the Essay Coaches?
A: Essay Coaches are certified teachers with experience in both classrooms and teaching one-to-one. Essay coaches are RRLS employees and are based out of Toronto. When a student registers, he/she will be matched with one teacher who will coach him/her throughout the process. Teacher are native-English speakers, committed to academic integrity and their students’ personal growth, and have a wealth of experience coaching students in essay-writing and English.
Q: How are the lessons delivered?
A: Lessons are delivered in one hour, one to one, live sessions through web conferencing software. Students are sent a link to their “classroom” and teachers upload resources and slides that will be used throughout the lesson. Students may also use document sharing programs to simultaneously work on their essays their individual Essay Coach.
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