The Bookworm Project
About Us

The Bookworm Project is a community literacy program created by Dr. Judith Foy, Professor of Psychology and her students at Loyola Marymount University in 2005. Kindergarten teachers at Bookworm sites recommend children who may benefit from the Bookworm Project tutoring. Undergraduate student tutors are paired with childrein local schools and after-school programs to work intensively, using evidence-based practices, on strengthening critical early literacy skills. LMU students also work with the families of these children to help make literacy an important part of their home environments, by modeling shared reading experiences, and providing the children and their families with access to engaging age-appropriate books.

Resources for Parents and Teachers
Phonological Awareness: Before children can learn the sounds associated with letters they first need to understand that there
are individual sounds in words. This is because beginning readers, whether they are children or adults, actually hear words as a 
whole (holistically) before they start to hear the individual parts. So it's not surprising that phonological awareness is one of the 
most important building blocks of early reading. Here are some fun and free activities to help develop your child's phonological 
awareness skills.

Sight-words: It's unfortunate that, in English at least, the most common words are often "irregular" words and difficult to sound 
out. This can be daunting to the beginning reader. Think for example of the word "the". Try sounding it out! In the Bookworm 
Project we emphasize that some words can't be easily sounded out, hence we know them by "seeing" (sight) words. Here are 
some of the most frequent words in English that also happen to be irregular. For the beginning reader, you way want to help 
them memorize a few (maybe 3 to start with) and then whenever you encounter them during your shared reading activity, your 
beginning reader gets to "read" that word. This also helps them to begin to pay attention to print as well as the pictures that go 
along with the story. Then add one or two more words, and so on until they know these words by sight.
Basic Principles of Early Reading
Five Big Ideas in Reading: The Bookworm Project is built around these five big ideas, as described here by the University of
Oregon's Center on Teaching and Learning. The Bookworm Project aims to help children develop each of these skills in the context of good literature and an excellent way to do this is with the techniques of dialogic reading. Click on each of the below principles to learn more about what we do:
Memory & Attention
We have found that children's ability to focus on our games and activities in the Bookworm Project, to not be distracted, and to remember information are linked and also are closely related to children's abilities to develop the building blocks of early reading. Starting in 2011, we began to add training in these areas using an evidence-based software program, Cogmed, provided free to eligible children in our program. Next fall we will also be offering another program, Lumosity, for eligible children as part of our ongoing research. 
Involving the Family
A key part of helping a child to become a lifelong "bookworm" who loves reading is to help the family become involved. At our Bookworm carnivals, which are held at a few sites each year, children and their families learn fun games and activities that encourage reading and literacy.
More Free Resources for Families, Teachers, Tutors and Children
Games and Activities for Children:
Ideas for Families, Teachers, and Tutors:
Online Literacy Games:
Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children:
The Bookworm Project, regrettably, is unable to help all eligible children, or children at schools or in grades not participating in our program. The director, Dr. Judith Foy, and her staff may provide consultations for a small fee to schools/programs interested in starting their own programs similar to the Bookworm Project. We are also pleased to be able to make referrals to specialists who may be able to provide help where we cannot. If you are a specialist and would like to be added to our list please contact Dr. Foy directly at

The International Dyslexia Foundation can be of great help as well, and you can visit them here.
Bookworm Alumni (Coming Soon!)
Our tutors have gone on to many wonderful opportunities and moved along many different career paths. We are grateful for their participation over the years and wish them the best in the future. These Bookworm alumni have agreed to have their contact information listed here. Coming Soon!
Donations to the Bookworm Project are welcome at any time. We are pleased to report that 100% of all donations go towards program expenses such as free books for the children and our travelling library. Many of the children in the program have no books of their own until they participate in the program. We also accept donations of children's books for use at our Bookworm carnivals, held at various sites, where students and their families participate in games and activities that encourage reading. We make the pursuit of literacy fun!
The Bookworm Project gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the McCormick Foundation, the Raskob Foundation,Scholastic Literacy Partners, Target, and the Verizon Foundation.
Contact Us
Dr. Judith Foy
(310) 338-4591
The Bookworm Project
Department of Psychology
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045