About Us

We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to learning for all as we recognize that all great minds don't think alike.


Meet Our Team

Meet our professional staff of diagnosticians and instructors versed in a wide range of disciplines.


Success Stories

Read stories and testimonials about learners of all ages who found academic and social success at the Stern Center.


Course Calendar

Join our knowledgeable and experienced staff in learning research-proven strategies in the areas of literacy, social cognition, math, and more.


Courses & Workshops

Browse our entire collection of Professional Learning offerings. Find a course for yourself or design a customized remedial program for your school/district.



Discover the program that teaches early care and education providers as well as parents how to foster early literacy skills in children ages five and under.


Building Blocks for Literacy®

Preparing All Children to Read

Reading is essential for learning and living success.

for Website homepage

Early Intervention is Effective

Prevention studies in reading (and behavior) commonly show that 70-90% of at-risk children (bottom 20% of all children) in K-2 can learn to read in the average range with effective instruction.

— Fletcher, Lyon, et al, 2007


BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® provides early care and education teachers a robust professional learning opportunity to help prepare our youngest learners for literacy success.

This program provides professional learning in the following areas:

  • Early Literacy Research
  • Language Development
  • Executive Function Development
  • Shared Book Reading (emphasizing vocabulary development)
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Speech-to-Print (including alphabet knowledge)

The National Research Council and the 2009 National Early Literacy Panel

3 Critical Elements to Promote Early Literacy:

  • Shared Book Reading
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Speech-to-Print Connections

Get a glimpse, download our Activity Guide (PDF). Also available in español.

An Activity Guide for Parents to promote early reading success Guia de Actividades Building Blocks materials

What We Know About Reading and the Brain

Images of brains and a child

  • Of 50 children having trouble learning to read in kindergarten, 44 of them will still be having trouble in third grade. — National Scientific Council, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2007)

  • One in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade fail to graduate from high school on time. — Hernandez, 2012

  • Of low-income fourth graders, 68% cannot read at the proficient level. — National Assessment Educational Progress, 2000

  • A majority of reading problems can be prevented in preschool and the early grades. — National Research Council, 1998

Courses and Workshops

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® offers a range of professional development offerings for early care and education teachers, and parents. Also, we developed an online course that can be accessed at our BUILDING BLOCKS website.

To learn more, please view our courses & workshops.


BB Impact

Meets National Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential for Physical and Intellectual Development


Counts towards NAEYC and NAFCC Accreditations

NAFCC-logo     naeyc_logo 

Aligns with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework


Outreach Map

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® has provided training opportunities in the states highlighted in green.


Together, we can prepare every child to read.

Be a reading hero – Let’s go!

If you’d like to offer a BUILDING BLOCKS training in your area, please contact us by calling 802-878-2332 or completing the form below. 

If you have questions or would like to discuss your potential support of a BUILDING BLOCKS training, please contact Ed Wilkens

Maybe you’re ready to demonstrate your support today. A financial contribution will help purchase the supplies and materials needed to make a difference for an early care and education center near you!

Contact Us Online

Before going to the Stern Center, I struggled with reading and my mind was focused on the fact that I couldn't do it. The Stern Center not only helped me improve my reading skills, but I was able to build confidence in my learning.

- Stern Center Student