YMCA Reads!

Literacy Apps


Harvey Pressman and Andrea Pietrzyk
Central Coast Children’s Foundation, Inc.

In American schools, mastery of early literacy skills is an essential prerequisite for academic success. Up to third grade, according to the old shibboleth, children have to learn to read. Starting in fourth grade, they have to read to learn. Those that haven’t mastered literacy skills by the end of third grade are destined to struggle mightily to keep up thereafter.

Mobile apps represent a new, and often inexpensive, resource now available to parents, teachers and others who try to help young children struggling to master early literacy skills. That’s the good news. The bad news is that new apps proliferate so rapidly that it is often difficult to keep up with what’s out there.

So we have collected some hopefully useful information about some of the valuable apps already on the market, in order to demonstrate the range of offerings already available, and the nature of others sure to come in rapid succession. In no way do we pretend that this is a comprehensive list, but we hope to provide a starting point for folks trying to get a handle on these kinds of resources. We have appended at the end of the list some references to web sites that provide continuing coverage of new apps on these topics as they appear.

The apps on our list are sorted by focus category, then by price (least to most expensive, with all prices in US dollars). In addition, each description includes a target audience (“Ideal for”) – pre-reading (children who have not yet learned how to read), beginning reading (children who are just starting to learn how to read), and catch-up reading (children who have learned how to read but are having difficulties).

Alphabet Skills

Phonics Skills

Reading Skills

Word Skills

Writing/Grammar Skills 


Additional Lists of Early Literacy Apps

In today’s high-tech world, technology is ever-changing. New apps appear on a daily basis, making it next to impossible to keep up with them. To make thisShow All »

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