Reading and the Brain

Reading and the Brain

Launching Young Readers

Don’t miss WETA’s award–winning series called  Launching Young Readers. Watch these innovative half-hour programs about how children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help.

The 8th episode is called Reading and the Brain. Hosted by Henry Winkler, who has had his own struggles with reading, Reading and the Brain explores how brain scientists are working to solve the puzzle of why some children struggle to read and others don’t. Startling new research shows the answer may lie in how a child’s brain is wired from birth. Watch video.  Dr. Guinevere Eden, who collaborates with us on the I Can Alphabetics App, and her work at Georgetown University is mentioned in this episode.

For more episodes, follow this link.

About the program

What happens when neuroscience meets Dr. Seuss? Hosted by Henry Winkler, Reading and the Brain explores how brain scientists across the country — in Houston, Chicago, Louisville, Washington, D.C., and Toronto — are working to help struggling readers.

Exciting new technologies are allowing us to learn on a child’s first day of life whether or not he’ll have a hard time learning to read down the line. And provocative new research from Dr. Stanley Greenspan shows us how emotional interactions between parents and babies are critical to children’s later ability to comprehend what they read.

You’ll also meet poet Nikki Giovanni and illustrator Bryan Collier in a segment about their new book, Rosa, a loving portrait of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Rewiring the brain

At the University of Texas-Houston, Dr. Papanicolau is using technology to show eight-year-old Peter Oathout his difficulties with reading are rooted in his brain.

Biomapping the brain

In Evanston, Illinois Dr. Nina Kraus thinks that Jenna’s reading problems may be related to the way her brain processes sound. To find out, Dr. Kraus is using some well-known technology in a new way.

Baby’s first reading skills

Drs. Victoria and Dennis Molfese are starting even younger. In Louisville, Kentucky they are studying speech perception in day old babies like Santana Hamond — something that may be a key factor in determining a child’s later reading skills.

The poet and the painter

In Harlem, writer Nikki Giovanni and illustrator Bryan Collier discuss their award-winning book, Rosa, and what it took to write about the influential Rosa Parks.

From emotion to comprehension

Further north in Toronto, six-year-old Arik is reading through his books with lightning speed — but is he understanding it all? Using a technique developed for children with autism like Arik, Drs. Greenspan and Shanker believe that they can help Arik’s comprehension by expanding his emotional connection to the words.




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