PAth to Literacy

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A Phonological Awareness Intervention for Young Children

By Howard Goldstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

When young children struggle with phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge, how can you intervene early and prevent later reading difficulties? Get kids on the PAth to Literacy with this highly effective Tier 2 intervention. Developed for children ages 4 to 6 who need help with key early literacy skills, this supplemental curriculum builds phonological awareness and alphabet skills through fun activities that keep children engaged as they learn. Young children will learn how to:

  • blend and segment words
  • identify first parts of words
  • identify first sounds of words
  • learn letter names
  • master letter–sound correspondence

PAth to Literacy Components

  • Teacher’s manual with 36 lesson scripts, lesson data sheets, progress monitoring assessments, attendance record sheet, fidelity of implementation observation form and scoring guide
  • More than 450 4-color instructional cards and word sheets
  • Storage box with dividers
  • Online materials
  • Lesson data sheets and assessments
  • Professional development modules with video clip examples

How does PAth to Literacy work?

Deliver PAth to Literacy right in your classroom to small groups of students who struggle with phonological awareness and alphabet skills. In just 10 to 15 minutes a day, you’ll give students

  • Scripted instruction. Using the included scripts and the word and picture cards, you’ll play fun word games with your students. Children listen and respond to your prompts.
  • Explicit teaching and modeling. You’ll show your students word and picture cards with target words and sounds. Then you’ll model key skills for them by sounding out words and dissecting them through physical gestures.
  • Multiple opportunities for practice. Each engaging, multisensory lesson encourages active participation and provides multiple chances for students to repeat sounds, observe actions, and answer questions.

PAth to Literacy Teacher-GuideAll children in the group participate in 2 lessons each week; children needing additional support participate in a third lesson. The full curriculum consists of 36 lessons that take approximately 24-36 instructional days to complete.





  • Addresses key predictors of later reading success: phonological awareness and alphabet skills
  • Promotes kindergarten readiness by helping children develop the skills they need to succeed
  • Includes fully scripted lessons that are easy to administer by a teacher or a classroom aide
  • Answers the call for proven, research-based interventions—PAth to Literacy was developed by leading early childhood researchers from the federally funded Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood (CRTIEC)
  • Engages young children with fun multisensory activities that encourage participation
  • Fits easily into your schedule—takes just 10 to 15 minutes a day
  • Requires no special training—just follow the simple implementation guidelines in the Teacher Guide and the online professional development modules

PAth to Literacy At A Glance

What is it?
A small group, Tier 2 supplemental intervention teaching phonological awareness skills

What skills does it target?
Phonological awareness skills, specifically blending words, segmenting words, identifying first parts of works, and identifying first sounds in words. Also addresses alphabet knowledge.

What age range is it for?
4- to 6-year-old preschoolers and kindergarten children

Where it is used?
Head Start programs, public preschool classrooms, child care programs, kindergarten classrooms

Who uses it?
Early childhood educators/special educators, literacy specialists, literacy coaches, speech language pathologists, paraprofessionals, teacher aides

How long does it take?
Each lesson takes approximately 10–15 minutes to complete. You’ll conduct 2–3 lessons per week for 12 weeks, for a total of 36 lessons.

Is it research-based?
An early pilot study demonstrated the positive effect of a scripted intensive intervention for preschool students in one-on-one intervention. An early efficacy study was conducted with 7 children across 3 classrooms showing meaningful gains in phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge. In a multi-site cluster randomized design study, the intervention was implemented with high fidelity and rated as highly acceptable by teachers.

Is training required?
No specific training is required, but the curriculum includes professional development modules for training teachers and aides as well as forms they’ll use to monitor their implementation.