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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is what happens when, through the well targeted intervention of our Butterfly literacy programme, more and more classes of children swiftly and happily learn to read, write and spell. This transformation is achieved by using the method so simply laid out in Irina Tyk’s inimitable Butterfly Book.

The further the Butterfly Effect spreads in a neighbourhood, the more literate – and potentially the more educated – the community becomes. The problems associated with poor educational attainment diminish and young people are empowered to contribute to the wider society. The long-term benefits of the Butterfly Effect are revealed in our research study, Learning to Read, Reading to Learn (download a PDF of the full report here).

Models for change

The Butterfly Effect is already growing within London, and is poised to spread into different parts of the country. We invite you to help us.

We have already piloted various models:

Our favourite model is the Butterfly Saturday Reading School, which has proven its impact since we opened our first school in 1999. Several organisations are keen to work with us to set up schools on this model at different locations.

We have already responded by setting up the Portobello Butterfly School in north Kensington, and a third at Colville Primary School, but we can do so much more. Your support is urgently needed.

What is needed: premises for 2 hours each Saturday in term-time yielding a minimum 2 or 3 classrooms; a project leader; a team of teachers; books and materials.

Another good model is our Butterfly Summer School. A kind of pop-up school, this has a quick, sound, short-term educational effect. It can also provide a foundation for a permanent Saturday Reading School. Perhaps you or your organisation could support one of these?

What is needed: premises for 2 hours each weekday during the summer break, yielding a minimum of 2 or 3 classrooms; a project leader; a team of teachers; books and materials.

A successful Butterfly literacy intervention which we pioneered in a secondary school where over half the eleven-year-old entrants had reading ages below nine. A few could barely read. We taught Butterfly to those with reading ages below eight, and Corrective Reading (as in the Fast Track programme) to those with reading levels above. The children’s reading improved by an average eleven months in thirty hours’ teaching despite much absenteeism and challenging behaviour.

If you are concerned by the waves of children hitting secondary school as dysfunctional readers, support a Youth Life project.

What is needed: a secondary school as a willing partner; a project leader; a team of teachers; books and materials.

Any classroom can be turned into a Butterfly classroom. We are happy to advise, offer training, and run Butterfly classes in primary schools. The Butterfly Effect will be reflected in the school results. This might be an educationally productive way of spending the pupil premium.

(Please note that the exact sum required to finance each project will vary).

Take action!

You can help to spread the Butterfly Effect – support us in our initiative to teach more thousands of children all over the country HOW to read properly.

Now is the time for philanthropistsdonors and volunteers to step forward and invest their money and time, and offer their dedication to help thousands of children to become independent readers.

Read on to find out why we must take action.