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Have you heard? Heggerty is expanding into phonics with our new program, Bridge to Reading.

With 66% of 4th graders reading below a proficient level, having a solid foundational tool to put into teachers’ hands is a crucial component in fighting the literacy crisis our country is facing. Bridge to Reading is a comprehensive reading foundational curriculum encompassing the beloved Heggerty phonemic awareness paired with explicit phonics instruction for the perfect combination. 

The following is the first in our series of blog posts going behind the scenes in the creation of Bridge to Reading by curriculum co-author Alana Mangham. For more information on our new foundational skills curriculum, visit

Reeducating a generation of teachers

How many research books can be stacked on a kitchen table? I can tell you from my experience writing our new foundational skills curriculum, Bridge to Reading, at least 20 at a time were out and open with sticky notes everywhere! (And as a result, there were many dinners spent sitting around the coffee table with my kids.)

My very first post-it note for the project said, “teach to train” and I still keep it on my computer as a constant reminder of what I want Bridge to Reading to be.

Bridge to Reading author's desk
My Bridge to Reading work station (when I’m not taking over my kitchen table!)

I think the recent NAEP scores have been a wake-up call for many educators. Schools and districts across the country are looking at literacy instruction with fresh eyes. And as a former LETRS trainer, nothing excites me more than helping a teacher learn new strategies to help the children in their care learn to read.

So my thought process while writing Bridge to Reading was this:

  • What can we put into the hands of educators that will build capacity among the staff members in the science of reading research?
  • What if a foundational skills curriculum could go beyond the what to get to the why behind the lessons?
  • How can we support delivery methods so students can grasp abstract phonic concepts to become skilled readers?

📖 View samples from the Bridge to Reading curriculum, including the scope and sequence, lessons from the teacher’s guide, and pages from the student R.E.A.D. books

Foundational skills are more important than ever

I am sure you have heard the news from the most recent release of NAEP scores that literacy rates over the last 30 years have remained stagnant despite the reading research. Research tells us that 95% of children can be taught to read by the end of first grade, however, the NAEP scores show that in 2022, 66% of 4th-grade students are reading below a proficient level. As educators, we need to be doing more.

The word intentional comes to mind when I think of Bridge to Reading. “Doing more” doesn’t mean giving more time. It doesn’t mean spending your nights planning new lessons or attending professional development.

The Bridge to Reading team has intentionally planned the scope and sequence based on various science of reading conceptual models, among other resources.

A look at the first grade scope and sequence for Bridge to Reading

We have delved into the frequency of sounds in print and the age of sound production in children. We’ve worked with a speech-language pathologist to create engaging lessons, all while keeping the reality of today’s classrooms top of mind. Lessons are designed to be simple and provide everything at an educator’s fingertips.

Bridge to Reading includes explicit and systematic instruction for both phonics and phonemic awareness

In short, Bridge to Reading will take the guesswork out of foundational skills.

🖥️ To learn more about Bridge to Reading, visit

🎥 To hear more from Alana on the importance of Foundational Skills, view her recent webinar, Bridging Research and Reality: Balancing Foundational Skills Instruction in the Classroom.

📖 View samples from the Bridge to Reading curriculum, including the scope and sequence, lessons from the teacher’s guide, and pages from the student R.E.A.D. books.

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