The Literate Girls Project

The Mission of the Literate Girls Program

We created our Literate Girls program to highlight and support the needs of girls with reading difficulties.

Girls who are reading below grade level and who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches can be referred for a free Augustine Literacy  Project Tutor through our Literate Girls program. If you have a student who may qualify, please contact

Educational Materials in English and Spanish to Help Identify Girls Struggling in Reading

Did you know that boys are referred for early reading problems 2-4 more often than girls?  That means too many girls who are struggling with reading are going unnoticed.  We need to change that. Click here for some information on how to spot a reading problem.

pictureofreadingpageDue to the generosity of the Women’s Fund, we have been able to create several printed pieces to help parents identify reading problems in their girls. Click here to download our new information page (in English and Spanish).

Parents and teachers — watch out! Clues to look for:

Look for unexpected patterns of difficulty given a child’s age or grade.

Here’s a list of eight clues:

1. Problems with phonemic awareness
Eighty percent of early reading problems are due to poor phonological awareness. Students may also have problems hearing the differences between sounds, not understanding that letters make specific sounds, etc.

2. Poor word recognition
Slow to learn words seen frequently, forgetting words seen many times, difficulty learning sight words (this is a very common problem).

3. Weakness sounding out words
Can’t easily learn and apply decoding skills. Tries to guess at words or use context clues. Weak at sounding out words with 2, 3 and 4 syllables (by 3rd or 4th grade).

4. Poor spelling, both on tests and in written compositions.
Frequent misspellings, guesses.

5. Slow, halting reading (poor fluency)
Must reread to understand.

6. Weak reading comprehension
Can’t recognize words in a passage or sound out important words; so slow and halting,she can’t recall what’s been read. Has trouble finishing tests.

7. Excessive time spent on homework
Parents may report trouble with assignments.

8. Self-esteem issues
Sees herself as “stupid”; is “down” about school, cries easily, avoids reading, appearsnot to care, easily frustrated when reading.


Placement in special education for reading difficulty for boys


Placement in special education for reading difficulty for girls

We know that reading issues are frequently missing in girls. Why? The answer may be due to their behavior. Studies show girl are likely to be less disruptive and better mannered.  Girls may be seen as passive and quiet.

So, as you’re reading this, imagine a girl who brings in her homework, has reasonably neat handwriting and seems a bit passive – wouldn’t it be easy to miss a reading issue?

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