Building Blocks for Literacy
Learn How to Increase Early Literacy Skills
Building Blocks for Literacy® is an online course for early childhood educators and anyone seeking an overview of key concepts in literacy development—including play-based activities—to ensure that our youngest learners are ready for reading success when they enter kindergarten.
Language learning begins in infancy and grows throughout our lives. Talking with babies, having conversations with toddlers, rhyming, reading aloud, pointing at objects, and teaching the alphabet are wonderful ways to build the skills children need for reading. In this course, you’ll dive into these early reading experiences and learn the essentials from scientific research about how our youngest learners develop reading readiness.
Fun Ways to Build Brains for Reading
While some children learn how to read with apparent ease, others struggle to learn the alphabet and recognize words. Learning how to read creates new neural pathways in the brain, connecting speech and print, linking sounds and symbols, and generating meaning. Priming our brains in early childhood to make these connections is crucial. Building Blocks’ activities make this learning a lot of fun, too!
Applying the Science of Early Literacy
The National Research Council and the National Early Literacy Panel found that shared book reading, phonological awareness, and speech-to-print connections are the three most important elements of promoting early literacy skills. Building Blocks for Literacy offers proven approaches for teaching these skills and includes modules on language development, executive function, early literacy research, phonological awareness, shared book reading, speech-to-print, assessment, and the journey to kindergarten.
Gain Evidence-Based Insights and Practice for Your Classroom
Building Blocks for Literacy:
- meets the National Child Development Association® (CDC) credential for Physical and Intellectual Development;
- counts towards National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) Accreditations;
- aligns with the Head Start Child Development, Vermont Early Learning Standads (VELS), and Early Learning Framework.
Online Learning Partner
Early Literacy Partner
What Teachers Have to Say
Activities to Promote Early Literacy
Frequently Asked Questions
What terms and conditions are there for professional learning registrations?
Please read the terms and conditions for our courses and workshops and contact us if you have any questions.
How do I register?
- If the course or workshop you’re interested in is on our website, please visit the course or workshop’s page and follow the link to access our online registration form. Complete the form by doing the following:
- Indicate whether you will pay with a credit card or a Purchase Order (PO).
- Fill out the participant information and workshop information sections.
- Read the Terms and Conditions and check the box to confirm your agreement.
- Click “Next”
- If you are paying with a PO:
- Please verify that your PO is complete.
- Send your file to the Stern Center by mail or email to email@example.com.
- Click “Next.”
- Your information will be sent to us to review. In 1–2 business days, we will confirm your registration by emailing you “Registration Confirmation” in the subject line.
- If you are paying with a credit card:
- Click “Next” to indicate whether you want to subscribe to our mailing list.
- Click “Continue.”
- Click “Buy Now” to continue to Authorize.net
- Enter your credit card information and click “Pay now” to complete your credit card transaction.
- Your information will be sent to us to review. In 1–2 business days, we will confirm your registration by sending you an email with “Registration Confirmation” in the subject line.
- If the course or workshop you’re interested in is not listed on our website, please contact us to learn more.
I want to apply for tuition funding. When and how do I do this?
The Stern Center’s Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence (CKHIE) provides grants to reduce the cost of our programs for educators, helping to make vital professional learning more readily accessible. When you register for a course or workshop, we’ll ask if you want to apply for grant funding. Select “Yes,” and we’ll ask how the grant will help your work as an educator. You will be required to submit a paragraph or two about your professional learning goals.
After you apply for funding, we’ll calculate the amount of your grant and subtract it from the cost of the course or workshop. Most grants provide 20% off of tuition.
You can read more about applying for grant funding here.
I’m considering taking a course for graduate credit. How long do I have to decide?
Graduate Credit Policy
Castleton University: If you are registering for a course that offers graduate credit from Castleton University, you may add graduate credit up to and including the first day of class. We will happily accommodate you if you wish to add graduate credit later, within the university’s deadline. Please register by the end of the first day of class to avoid a processing fee of $25 in addition to the graduate credit cost.
Saint Michael’s College: If you are registering for a course that offers graduate credit from Saint Michael’s College, you may add graduate credit up to and including the first day of class. No additions can be accepted after the first day of class.
Graduate Credit Withdrawal Policy: For classes running consecutive days, participants who withdraw must decide by the end of the first day whether to request a graduate credit refund. To request a refund, email the Professional Learning Intake Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 802-276-8745.
My school said they would register me. Do I need to do anything else?
Please confirm with your school that they have completed all the necessary steps to register you. Please do not plan to attend the class without verifying that you are registered, as we may be unable to accommodate you due to limited seating.
What can tuition funding be used for?
Tuition funding through the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute may be used for a percentage of the following professional learning costs:
Funding cannot be applied to the following:
- Graduate credits
- MindPlay Comprehensive Reading Course
- Travel costs
- Materials costs
What is a purchase order or PO?
- A purchase order (PO) is a document from your school or district stating that they will pay a certain amount for you to attend a course or workshop. A PO allows us to invoice your school or district for your attendance.
- A PO might look something like this.
- A PO is not a number. Please supply the complete document to register, not just the PO number.
How do I register with a purchase order?
You’ll need to complete a purchase order (PO) before you register. Make sure your PO fulfills the following:
- The PO is issued to “Stern Center for Language and Learning.”
- The unit price is for the total cost (if your school or district pays for only part of the total cost, please email us at email@example.com.
- The PO is signed by an authorized party at your school or district.
Once your PO is complete, please send us a copy of the document. You can send it by mail or email to firstname.lastname@example.org when you submit your contact information.
Can you invoice my school or district so they can make a PO?
Unfortunately no. We cannot submit invoices without first receiving a PO.
My school/district/I sent you a PO. Why am I not registered?
Ensure you have also completed and submitted a registration form and your PO. Without both documents, we cannot register you.
Make sure you sent us a copy of the PO itself and not just a PO number or a letter of intent from your school or district. We cannot invoice either of these items without the PO document itself.
Please get in touch with us if you haven’t received confirmation of your registration 1–2 business days after you submitted a completed PO and the registration information form. We may have missed one of these documents and would appreciate your letting us know to look for them.
My School or district won’t cover the total cost of a course or workshop. How can I complete my registration?
If your school or district is paying for only part of the total cost, please get in touch with us by calling 802-276-8745 or emailing email@example.com. To complete your registration, you must send the remaining balance by check or credit card payment.
How do I pay for graduate credit?
Please make all payments to the Stern Center for Language and Learning. We’ll handle the rest!
If you are worried about the course or workshop filling up, you can pay with a credit card or check while you wait for your PO to be completed. Please check with your school or district before doing this to make sure you can be reimbursed when the PO is completed.
If paying for the course out-of-pocket isn’t an option for you, please get in touch with us.
My school or district is still working on my PO. Can I still register?
We’re sorry, but we cannot accept registrations without proof or payment or proof of intent to pay (such as a completed PO).
Can I still take a course if I need to miss one or more days?
All participants must be prepared for and attend every class and be ready to participate as required by the instructor.
If that is not possible for you, please get in touch with us before registering. You may still be able to take the course in some instances, but such decisions are at the course instructor’s discretion. Please refer to our Attendance & Participation Policy.
Can I audit a course or workshop?
Auditing our public offerings is not available. All attendees must register, pay tuition, and follow the attendance and participation policy.
If you are an organization that has contracted with us to deliver a course or workshop, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for auditing information.
Do I need to register with Wilson® after I enroll in the course or workshop with the Stern Center?
If you wish to receive a certificate of attendance, access additional resources, and register for graduate credit (when available), you will need to pre-register with Wilson. These resources and materials are only available through Wilson.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Teachers Served This Year
When a teacher takes one of our courses, the positive impact ripples beyond one life, spreading through an entire classroom, school, and community.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Student Services Hours This Year
We offer one-on-one teaching that transforms lives, lifts up voices, and inspires learners to bring forth their unique gifts to a world that awaits them.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Schools Served This Year
We celebrate the dedication of our school partners and share their commitment to a brighter future for all learners.
Our Reach by the Numbers
States and Counting
We’re a national leader in language and literacy. Our impact currently extends across 38 states and several countries through the thousands of educators we reach and students we serve.
Resources for Teachers
Explore evidence-based resources for teaching structured literacy, Orton-Gillingham, SEL, and more.
Teachers Making Change
We celebrate the dedication of our fellow educators and share their commitment
to helping every learner grow and thrive.
Course & Registration FAQs
Do you have questions about course registration, credits, grants, or anything else? Find your answers here!
Get in Touch!
For questions about courses and workshops, email email@example.com, call 802-878-2332, or fill out the form below.