Kao Kangaroo week at Safari Learning

Zoo-phonics kids at Safari Learning Academy generate words starting or using the letter K.

Director Katie collects the words and they sound and signal Kao Kangaroo for each /k/ sound!

Bliss Babies Magazine

Check out this article in the newest edition of Bliss Babies magazine! This piece features an interview with our beloved author and co-creator, Dr. Charlene Wrighton. They discuss the methodology and research-based proof of the positive affects of the Zoo-phonics Mnemonic and Multisensory Language Arts Program in the classroom.

Bliss Babies Zoo-phonics

Zoo-school Makes Local News!

Safari Learning Academy, who exclusively uses Zoo-phonics Mnemonic and Multisensory Language Arts Program, is breaking ground for a new school building!

Read the article on mymotherlode.com.

Your Brain Loves Exercise

Check out Dr. Caroline Leaf, about the exact thing that is the science behind Zoo-phonics!


Dr. Leaf is an author, teacher, coach, and most importantly, a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology.

Exercise Boosts Brain Power.

Zoo-phonics isn’t the only one that knows movement improves brain function. Check out John Medina explain why exercise boosts brain power!

Dr. John J. Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, has a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organizes information. He is a best selling author. His book on brain development is a must-read for parents and early-childhood educators: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five.

An Update on Zoo-phonics® Teacher Training in Kasese, Uganda

By Bill Carver

Watchmen International Training
Introduction to Zoo-phonics®

A team from the US just completed a two week interaction with WI nursery schools that included visits to four schools (Kenya–Anthony and William’s schools, Uganda–Rukoki and Hamakungu) and an ESL seminar teaching Zoo-phonics to representatives from eleven schools (Kenya–Pauline and Roselyne, Rwantda–Rosemary and Faith, Kilembe–Dinah, Buhuhira–Rose, Kyaka–Racheal, Hamakungu–Pearl, Rwempiche–Resta, Rukoki–Peace, Chrisco–Victoria).

The visits confirmed that last year’s seminar effectively equipped the teachers to begin introducing Zoo-phonics to their students with excellent results. The training last week introduced the ESL curriculum to four schools and brought all the attending teachers to a new proficiency level that allows instruction in the basic alphabet, blends, and word building. One more seminar would equip these eleven school teachers with the training needed to teach their students to read English. Next year we can also introduce the procedures needed to complement reading with writing skills.

Our students will leave the top nursery with true reading skills, not just sight reading. Children will be able to decode and comprehend. This ability will significantly increase their chance of success in P-1.

It will significantly increase the opportunity for graduating nursery school students if we can also train P-1 teachers in schools that offer that grade. We will consider inviting P-1 teachers from Kenya and Rwanda schools in addition to Chrisco and one school from Bavuma next year. Candidates from other schools will be considered. Obviously, as we include these teachers from P-1 in addition to training nursery teachers, we (WI, USA) will have to find the funds for curriculum and seminar expenses. I believe that the Zoo-phonics owners will continue to support the curriculum needs next year and that the US can contribute sufficient funding to pay for seminar expenses.

I believe that properly marketing this instruction to potential families and communities will significantly increase the image of WI nursery schools with the promise of gaining students and influence in the communities being served. A healthy continuation of the ESL training in P-1 will further improve the success of elementary schools by similarly attracting additional students.

Some observations follow:

  • The students truly enjoy this way of learning English.
  • The teachers are adapting quickly to instruction and are effectively teaching the program in schools.
  • The seminar instructional method is working well; teachers are attentive and diligent.
  • Curriculum is relatively inexpensive and complements typical teaching methods in African schools.
  • God is being faithful to encourage our teachers.
  • Nursery schools remain an effective way to meaningfully care for families in WI churches and communities.
  • Opportunity to evangelize students and families abound.
  • Pastors who consistently encourage and monitor progress in their schools demonstrate the best overall results.
  • Teachers with modest education background can master the skills needed to teach Zoo-phonics; attitude, drive, and calling are most important.

It almost goes without saying that the WI teams have made it possible to achieve these gains among WI nursery school teachers. The facilities and personnel in Kasese are excellent and precisely what is needed for future training. The team from the US was blessed by the can-do spirit and hospitality we enjoyed this summer. Thanks to all who contributed to the success of the training visit this year.

A report on Zoo-phonics® Teacher Training in Kasese, Uganda

By Bill Carver

Watchmen International Training

Introduction to Zoo-phonics®

In June 2012, a team from Sanford, NC traveled to Kasese, Uganda to conduct training for nine teachers associated with nursery schools sponsored by Watchmen International (WI). The team included Bill Carver, Director for Schools, Gena Carver, 1st grade teacher at Grace Christian School, Nicole Terhune, 2nd grade teacher, and Janna Ptak, a rising 12th grade student at Grace Christian School.

Attendees at the training included two teachers from Kenyan (WI) nursery schools, one teacher from Rwanda, and six teachers from Uganda. The teachers from these nursery schools had participated in training with WI in previous years. They are representative of the skill level typical of the staff found in WI schools; they were enthusiastic and positive about the new curriculum.

The goals of the training included:

  1. Basic introduction to the concept of teaching phonics using Zoo-phonics® curriculum
  2. Introduction of the animals for each letter including a mini-natural science lesson for each
  3. Introduction of the stylized form of the animals, their names, and the associated sounds
  4. The hand motions for each letter/animal
  5. Teaching the song for the whole alphabet
  6. Basic instruction on teaching children to decode using Zoo-phonics® and introduction of lists of sight words
  7. Practicing lessons for introducing each letter to the nursery and kindergarten school children (classes characterized by predominantly 5 year-olds with 3 to 6 year olds attending)
  8. Provision of laptop computers and videos to reinforce the training

The teaching included direct instruction, whole group practice, small group practice, and trial instruction in the nursery schools. The training lasted five days, Monday through Friday, and instruction included about six hours of classes per day, including visits to two schools.

Introduction of the Zoo-phonics® curriculum promises to enhance learning of English in East Africa. Progress can be made in the African classroom with modest investment in printed curriculum. The pilot program in 2012 encouraged our team to plan subsequent training and to attempt to introduce Zoo-phonics® to all eighteen schools supported by Watchmen International in East Africa.