Reading Development

Get the facts on risk factors for reading problems to help put all kids on the path to reading success, right from the start.

Learn More About Reading Development »

About Nemours Brightstart!

A Bright Start for Every Child

Nemours BrightStart!, the first program of its kind in the nation, researches, develops and offers evidence-based tools targeting young children at risk for reading failure. Our goal is to effectively instruct children at the very beginning of their reading journey to ensure long-term reading success.

In addition to direct services for young children in Florida and Delaware, Nemours BrightStart! helps parents, educators, health care professionals and community leaders understand key concepts and actions needed to promote reading success for all children through a variety of specific tools, services and resources.

Mission:
To promote reading success and prevent reading failure in children, through innovative programs, research, leadership and partnerships focused on children from birth to 8 years.
Vision:
Every child becomes a reader.

Nemours' Science-Based Approach

Reading failure affects 30 percent or more of our nation’s children, and about 40 percent of children enter kindergarten lacking the early literacy skills needed for reading success. Studies have shown that literacy level is the strongest single predictor of adult health status. However, reading failure also is a major child health issue that can affect all aspects of a child’s development.

Children who have medical problems may struggle with reading because of frequent school absences, aspects of their medical condition that contribute to learning problems, or both.

Parents may also talk first to their child’s doctor when they are concerned about their child’s reading progress.

At Nemours, we are employing our legacy of scientific and clinical expertise to study and address malleable factors that contribute to reading failure. Through this work, we want every child to achieve his or her potential.

Early Intervention to Prevent Reading Failure

Evidence is overwhelming that the foundation for successful reading is built in the early years, when a young child's brain is highly responsive, adaptable and attuned to learning language. Nemours BrightStart! builds on this evidence by beginning its literacy work at an early age. This is the most effective preventive action against reading failure.

In fact, if a child is not reading at grade level by the end of first grade, that child has only about a 10 percent chance of reading at grade level by the end of fourth grade.

The Nemours BrightStart! multifaceted approach includes:
  • reading readiness screening
  • early educational instruction
  • professional development for educators and health professionals
  • health care provider programs
  • parent education
  • research and evaluation
The impact of the Nemours BrightStart! approach has been remarkable.
To date:
  • Tens of thousands of prekindergarteners have been screened on early literacy skills, with thousands of at-risk children receiving Nemours BrightStart! intensive educational instruction.
  • Two-thirds of participating at-risk children who have received the Nemours BrightStart! educational instruction have moved to the typical range in their reading readiness skills.
  • At-risk prekindergarteners completing the Nemours BrightStart!
    intensive educational instruction gain an average of 114 percent on their reading readiness scores.
  • The majority of the at-risk children who have received Nemours BrightStart! instruction continue to display strong reading performance into the early elementary school grades.
  • Program results have been presented in peer-reviewed presentations and scientific/academic journals.

With Nemours BrightStart!, the good news is that nearly all children can become successful readers.