New Mobile Literacy Tool Helps Connect Parents and Children Through Text Messaging

Pocket Literacy Coach Puts Fun, Research-based Learning Lessons in Parents' Pockets
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Chicago - Illinois - US

March 7, 2012 - PRLog -- Fewer than 33% of America’s parents read to their 9-month old children. Fewer than 39% read to their 4 year old children. Fewer than 28% remember to tell their child a story on a regular basis.  Those statistics seem staggering, but the reality is that busy parents don't necessarily have the time to come up with daily literacy-based activities for their children.  That's where Pocket Literacy Coach comes in (  Its mobile SMS-based platform is empowering on-the-go parents to create and increase learning opportunities with and for their children.

Created by literacy expert Dr. Chris Drew, the Pocket Literacy Coach system is an easy, affordable and convenient support program designed with the everyday parent in mind.  A daily text message lesson is delivered to cell phones with a short, fun and creative learning activity that parents can use with children to help them promote emerging literacy skills.  Text messages are delivered five times per week to provide busy parents with guaranteed quality time with their children, age birth to 12 year old, that builds positive learning habits.

Based on research and years of experience, each mini-lesson is designed by Ph.D. literacy scholar Drew and team of expert teachers. The objective of the Pocket Literacy Coach program is to provide parents with unique and fun research-based lessons to use with their kids. The most basic benefits of the Pocket Literacy Coach mini-lessons are that the text messages serve as both a daily reminder and they provide a convenient learning activity for parents to use.

“Our goal is always to promote literacy and make it simple and fun for parents and their children every day," says Drew.  "Pocket Literacy Coach’s mini-lessons extend parental knowledge and provide confidence that parents are constantly engaging in their child's learning outside the classroom.”

And the connection between literacy and success in life have been proven again and again in a variety of studies. According to Ounce of Prevention, the gap in literacy means children are:

•   25% more likely to drop out of school
•   40% more likely to become a teen parent
•   50% more likely to be placed in special education
•   60% more likely to never attend college
•   70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime

According to a Ready to Learn/PBS study called “Learning Letters with Elmo,” 100% of children whose families participated using educational text messages "reported statistically significant change from pre- to post-intervention in their children's knowledge of the targeted skills." In other words, parents who received fun activities to do with their children via text messaging showed academic improvement. Case study data from parents participating with Pocket Literacy Coach is revealing similar results (

"In today's world, we're sensitive to the fact that parents are busier than ever before," said Drew.  "When 91% of Americans own a cell phone, there is a real opportunity to give them the tools they need to engage with their children...right in their pocket."

Research has proven that using educational text messages not only enhances parental involvement, but also helps parents make their children better readers.  

Pocket Literacy Coach:

* Provides parents with a variety of easily accessible literacy and learning activities and ideas
* Makes it easy for parents to seamlessly work learning activities into daily routines without having to stress about, or invest, wpxwm their own time planning educational activities
* Makes learning an anywhere and everywhere activity
* Helps build positive habits and attitudes that will help children be more successful in school and, as statistics show, in life
* Give parents confidence through Pocket Literacy Coach’s expert coaching

Examples include:
•   "Focus on looking for patterns. Create patterns by clapping and stomping and have your child repeat them. Ask your child to create a pattern for you to copy!"

•   "When reading to your child ask them to predict what happens next. How will the story end? Why do they think that? Encourage your child to look at the pictures."

•   "Practice counting change up to $1. Explain that it takes 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, or 4 quarters. Help child explore different ways to make a $1."

"The number of cell phones in the US actually exceeds its population!  Parents, no matter their economic status or background, have no excuse for not being engaged in their child's learning.  It takes a short amount of time each day and will pay dividends in the future," said Drew.

About Pocket Literacy Coach
Founded by entrepreneur and college professor Dr. Chris Drew, Pocket Literacy Coach is an innovative mobile learning system designed to coach parents on how to support their child's learning outside of the classroom. The system delivers daily text messages to cell phones with a short learning activity that parents use with their children to build their reading, math and learning skills. Research has proven that using educational text messages not only enhances parental involvement, but also helps parents make their children better readers.  Pocket Literacy Coach co-produced a Chicago Ideas Week event with the Illinois Technology Association, bringing together some of Chicago's education leaders, innovators and success stories to discuss "Integrating the Technology Mindset": A how-to guide for school leaders to integrate technology innovation in their schools. The company was also a Chicago Innovations nominee and has been featured on "Built in Chicago" a number of times and was identified by the Kauffman Foundation’s “Startup Open” as a top 50 Global Entrepreneurship Week company.  For more information on Pocket Literacy Coach and visit our online press room, go to

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Pocket Literacy Coach delivers daily text messages with short learning activities to build childrens' reading, math and learning skills. Research shows educational text messages enhance parental involvement and make children better readers.
Source:Cascade Communications
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Tags:Education, Literacy, Teachers, Parents, Resources, Learning, Schools, Texting, Reading, Children, Students
Industry:Education, Technology, Wireless
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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