Ms. Green's classroom during math intervention time at Inglewood Elementary School, Nashville

Jessica Talbot, Academic Dean, Explore! Community School, Nashville

“I want to thank you personally for coming to train our Kindergarten team on the use of the PALS program. The implementation is going well and the teachers love the collaboration it creates between mathematicians! We are very interested in continuing the PALS program with our 1st – 3rd graders in our next school year as part of our Tier II math intervention work. Thank you for all that you do to help our Mathematicians and for your work in supporting Explore as a whole!”

Kristen Pekovich, 3rd Grade Teacher at Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville

“Many times, the kids get the right answer, but they don’t understand why. This helps them identify the different steps it takes to get the right answer. They do so much better when they can explain what they are doing and why.”

Teacher Testimonials

Ruth Beaman, Principal, Carter-Lawrence Elementary Math & Science Magnet School, Nashville

“It takes a whole village to raise a child” is a true proverb that is played out at Carter-Lawrence on a daily basis. Our university students, volunteers and teachers work together to improve student learning.

Recently, during a visit in Mrs. Birdwell’s Pre-K classroom, I observed students reading words and discerning vowel sounds. After a few minutes, I praised them for their good working habits. One student spoke up and said, “I can read books, too.” He proudly read a book to me. This is just one example of what happens when the community becomes involved in our schools. Our many thanks go out to Vanderbilt University and everyone who has partnered in implementing PALS in our Pre-K program.”

Mrs. Bellar, Brookmeade Elementary School, Nashville

“PALS has helped my students tremendously with reading and writing. I am much impressed!”

Janet Richardson, Dupont Elementary School (Title 1), Nashville

“My students have made a lot of progress. I had three students that I thought would be retained this year. The PALS approach to reading has really made a difference. I’m not retaining any children this year.”

Mrs. Hollis, Brookmeade Elementary School, Nashville

“PALS is an amazing help in teaching children to read.”

Mrs. Johnson, Dupont Elementary School (Title 1), Nashville

“This is my fourth year teaching kindergarten. I have never had so many students reading at this time in the kindergarten. This program is very easy to implement and extremely beneficial to all students. All students will go to first grade knowing letters, sounds, decoding skills, and reading many words. Students who participated in this program will have a head start over other children in regards to reading as they enter first grade.”

Mrs. King, Dodson Elementary School, Nashville

“The PALS activities were very easy to implement. They provided intensive times of actual reading by every student, as well as interaction with other students. It provided a valuable addition to my regular reading instruction. I believe the PALS program was of benefit to low, average, and high performing students.”

Ms. Rosenberger, Title 1 Reading Interventionist/Reading Recovery Teacher

I have used KDG and first grade reading PALS over twenty years ago in the classroom and now as an interventionist. I love PALS so much that I have been asking my principals if I can do action research with the entire kdg grade level or 1-2 classrooms (we have gone through two principals since I asked). My current principal and coaches are not on board with it because my principal wanted to do Really Great Reading. Our scores have dropped nearly in half or more than half since we implemented RGR these past two years.

In 2018-19 one kdg teacher let me come into her classroom and teach PALS to her entire classroom. Out of 21 students, we had 18 proficient in spring. (one student was deaf in one ear, one student had a cognitive processing deficiency, and one student was very young for her grade. However, these three students were approx 3 points away from passing the state e-reading test.). The next year we had 100%, but I only used Reading Recovery strategies and not PALS. (Just think if we combined the two strategies.) Also, during the four years I taught K-PALS over 20 years ago, I had six students graduate as valedictorians or salutatorians from their class (avg grade level size was 100-116 students.)

I would love to participate in a PALS study and would greatly appreciate to be considered or involved in any way. I added my own daily writing to PALS and have found it to be highly effective. I believe, with our scores dropping so severely and with your help, that we could convince my district to try PALS again.

Please let me know how I can become involved with further PALS research. Thank you for reaching out to teachers for training in PALS. Our nation’s kids need our teachers to be PALS trained and fully implemented in the classrooms.


Student Testimonials


“PALS was a good experience for me. It helped me cooperate with other students. For example one of my partners read a four paragraph page very slowly. I helped him. The next day he read much better. That made me feel really good. Later, another PALS partner I had didn’t like to answer the PALS question. When I showed her how, she was spectacular. I loved PALS. I hope to do it again.”

“I need to learn how to read.”

“I got to meet friends.”


“If it was not for PALS I will not read.”


“I like my reader partner because I learned how to read.”


“The best thing about PALS was I became a better reader. The reason why is because I use to stutter when I read and Mrs. Martin helped me with the words I stuttered with. PALS helped me with sounding out the words, and my reading improved. PALS really helped me. I hope we have PALS again.”

“I liked the competition.”

“I liked making new friends.”


“The best thing about PALS is being respectful to people that may not be as strong a reader as you. My reading improved during PALS. In PALS, when your partner makes a mistake, you are taught how to encourage him to do it again. Also you can tell him ‘good job’ when he does good after he rereads the sentence. I really hope we can do PALS again because it was really fun.”


“I liked learning how to read.”

“I like to read in the PALS.”