‘I can’t wait to start the action which will benefit thousands of underprivileged children and change the way they look at the English alphabet for ever! ‘
Neena Singh, Rotary President,
“The passing rate on the President’s Challenge test is usually brought down by the lack of flexibility children exhibit.Many years of working with The Presidential Physical Fitness test made me realize there has to be something out there to help children with flexibility. I honestly feel your program just might be it. I have seen kids stretching more when they did not realize they were doing it …..having fun! I have heard conversations as well. I feel that Alphabet Fitness is going to be a key in my test results in the coming year. My goals also address other types of learning. These include value, thinking skills, social skills, performance skills, and behavioral goals that I wish the students would develop. I love that your program is a way to reach all those goals.”
-Anne Lineberry, PE teacher
Bradley Creek Elementary in Wilmington, NC.
“Children learn best by doing, and simply through play. Alphabet Fitness recognizes, encourages, and nurtures this philosophy. Combining both fine and gross motor skills in learning can represent “success” for many children, rather than frustration or fear, by serving all types of students. Its letter buddies and words promote social skills, cooperation, sharing, teamwork and even trust. It is a ‘mutual interdependence’ as children need each other to make it work.
–Barbara Sanga, Toddler Teacher
This month’s People magazine had a really neat article on Autism, profiling the stories of some kids and teens who have Autism or Asperser’s syndrome. Each child/young adult shared a different activity or coping mechanism that helped relieve the social stresses associated with their condition . It convinced me even more of the reasons why the Alphabet Fitness games are so successful for these children. It was amazing to read about the effect these different activities had on the children with Autism and know that Alphabet fitness is one of these activities : )
Could you please e-mail us a copy of your paper Chimps help their Bipedal cousins relearn body-talk?
Erica Metelovski, MA
Assistant to the Director
ChimpanZoo: Research, Education and Enrichment
A Program of the Jane Goodall Institute
“Thank you so much for sending Brandon “Chimp Yoga”. He was so excited to receive such a wonderful surprise, and he was so proud. He and Blake (our 3 yr. old) had such fun the past 3 nights with it.
Most people with Asperger’s syndrome are at risk for being overweight, and we have worried about Brandon as he is not too interested in many physical activities. However, he LOVES Chimp Shakespeare’s program. He is also fascinated with the dice. It has been a ball watching Brandon & Blake laugh and yoga together. Thank you so much! It means more to me than I can say that you have supported my son in this way. Keep up the great work and I’ll be sure to tell our friends about Chimp Shakespeare!”
“Thank you for Chimp Shakespeare. It was so nice of you” – A handwritten letter sent by Brandon
“My 4 year old son loves this game and will even do it for guests when they come for dinner. We usually do it after dinner. Caleb was not into learning the alphabet through the written word. He is more an auditory learner and the chimps helped him visualize the letters so that he now writes the letters.
I think Caleb, being very social, liked the interactive characteristic of the game especially when it takes two people to make a letter. I think it is also interesting to see how different bodies, different sizes can do some letters easier than others. Also what a child does for a letter and what it looks like to another may not match, and being each other’s mirrors can be a lot of fun.
I think at this age children have a very fragile self-esteem and using a gross motor task to do a cognitive or fine motor skill is very smart and psychologically advantageous especially for boys.”
Gail Monaghan, MPT, DSe
Just an FYI…my kids LOVE the ABC-yoga!!! I put the font in a powerpoint and project it on the wall…so I can move around and help the kiddos! I teach PK-5th grade. Was doing it with the little ones. Yesterday I had a fifth grader come to me and ask if they were going to get to do it…my response–why do you ask? The answer–my sister was doing it at home and it looks fun! Just want you to know
that your work is “networking our community”!!!
Rogers Public Schools
Implementing Alphabet Fitness into my developmental delay dance class has helped my students with Down syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and Autism improve their social skills, touch and trust, bodily awareness and determination. The physical interaction between the students and teachers, strength challenges, and pictorial representations of what to strive for all helped the students enhance their physical and mental fitness.
Greta Pearson-Internship program writeup Dean College,
School of Dance/Alphabet Fitness
“I grew up in a time period when Dyslexia resulted in the comments of slow and a boy most likely not to succeed. My youngest son picked up my genes but it is tools today like Alphabet Fitness that will make the difference for him. We play the “dice” most weekends and his recognition of the letters and sounding them as he puts his body in the shape is a blast. This brings play back in to learning but with added benefit of “putting your letters together”
Peter Vicars, MA
President/CEO VGo Robotics
‘Our visiting Rotarians from Wyoming, Austria and Haiti will be introducing our Literacy Project to their respected Clubs! As PP Peter Griffin stated “…our Literacy Project had gone viral…” That is exactly what we hope it would do! Director Karen Voght has done a tremendous job in bringing Alphabet Fitness to The Rotary Club of Boston #7. Allowing us to promote it across the globe!’
– David Manzi, President
Rotary Club of Boston, MA, USA
Admiral Stavridis (4-star), Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Commander U.S. European Command, was successful in getting Tom Henderson, Shelter Box Director, to include Karen’s Alphabet Fitness Dice Game into Shelter Boxes Educational Tool Box Kit for Kids – Board of the Rotary Club of Boston was held on June 14, 2011
Nomination for Karen Voght
Massachusetts Literacy Champion June 15, 2011
From: Dr. Andrew J. Schneider-Munoz
Member, Academy of Child and Youth Care
First Vice President, Association for Child and Youth Care Practice
Executive Committee, National Youth Worker Certification Board
It is a pleasure to nominate Karen Voght as Massachusetts Literacy Champion. As a member of the Academy of Child and Youth Care and Executive Committees of the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice and the National Youth Worker Certification Board, I want to add to the chorus of accolades for Ms. Voght’s national and global work on behalf of vulnerable children. Ms. Voght is a caring, compassionate and visionary literacy leader who is deeply dedicated to the health, wellness and success of all children and families.
During my decade at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I had the opportunity to become directly involved in Ms. Voght’s work. While her ideas were well ahead of their time, today it turns out that she is right. Physical exercise significantly increases the chance that children will read well and her alphabet fitness methods have significantly contributed to the reading success of the most challenged among special needs and vulnerable populations. In today’s society, literacy is a social justice issue and the ability to read is life giving.
As outstanding citizen of Massachusetts, Ms. Voght has excelled as an entrepreneur and social sector leader for literacy. She has approached the development of her Alphabet Fitness with tremendous creativity and scientific rigor. Not only do her interventions fully meet the standards of developmental psychology but her approach is easily accessible and family-friendly!
As Vice President for Research and Evaluation at City Year, a Massachusetts-based national service organization, we were so impressed by the progress that children make by engaging Alphabet Fitness that in honor of Martin Luther King Day, more than 100 volunteer corps members contributed to distributing Alphabet Fitness Blocks to minority children and families throughout the neighborhoods of Boston with much success. This is just one of the ways that Karen Voght has contributed to the development of the community in Massachusetts. She has worked hard to mentor the next generation and prepare many of Boston’s students for key leadership roles in serving the community.
Karen Voght has consistently collaborated in sharing ideas that we now use to prepare youth workers across the country. Karen recently led a powerful demonstration of Alphabet Fitness in a symposium for the leaders of youth development and education representing more than 100 top experts from every region of the country.
This award for Karen Voght would truly honor her foresight, dedication, and passion for literacy. She has given countless hours to launching a movement that in the most instrumental ways fully engages children, families, youth and community in the essential building blocks of the literacy process. Her work has been a gift to all of us and she has garnered respect and trust from her colleagues and the community. Karen Voght—entrepreneur, scientist, and community advocate—has role modeled for all of us what it means to champion literacy. The youth workers of this country who day-to-day work in the most vulnerable of neighborhoods to make sure kids can read call Karen our hero for all that she has done. We hope that you will do the same by naming her, Massachusetts Literacy Champion.
Dr. Andrew J. Schneider-Munoz, Ed. D., CYC-P firstname.lastname@example.org
“Karen is an incredibly creative person and her alphabet fitness program for kids is unique and absolutely wonderful for stress inoculation.”
Dr. Patti Levine, Boston, MA 6-2010