An Action Plan When Children Struggle To Read

Jennifer Simpson is a mother on a mission. She knows her daughter, a second-grader, is falling behind in reading, and she’s determined to get her little girl the help she needs. Simpson’s knowledge and determination are born of experience. Her first child, Keith, battled severe dyslexia and struggled all the way through school.

“He thinks he could have done something more,” says Simpson. “But he was the child. I was the parent. I should have fought for him, and I didn’t know I could.”

Simpson’s story forms the basis for “Empowering Parents,” an upcoming television primer for parents whose children are struggling to read. Hosted by Al Roker, the 30-minute program is the seventh episode of the award-winning PBS series Launching Young Readers. The “Empowering Parents” episode will air on public TV stations across the country beginning in April. (Check your local PBS listings.) It’s part of an ongoing initiative, called “Reading Rockets,” which looks at how young children learn to read, why so many kids struggle and what can be done about it.

“Some of the stories we heard from parents were so painful,” says Christian Lindstrom, senior producer for “Reading Rockets.” “Children don’t need to be told how important reading is. They know. We hope our show will give parents the information they need to step in before a slow start becomes a full-blown problem.”

– Judy Molland

Read More:

Helping Your Struggling Reader: The Problem

Helping Your Struggling Reader: What You Can Do

Resources for Your Struggling Reader

Help Early On for Your Struggling Reader