Take Flight is a systematic, explicit, research-based program that addresses the five components of effective reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel's research and meets the criteria of a Tier 3 intervention in reading.  

  1. Phonemic Awareness - The relationship between speech-sound production and spelling-sound patterns is explicitly taught.
  2. Phonics - A systematic approach is used for single word decoding.
  3. Fluency - The research-based approach of repeated readings is used to help students read more fluently.
  4. Vocabulary - Multiple learning strategies and explicit techniques are applied to text.
  5. Comprehension -  Students are taught to use and articulate multiple comprehension strategies including story structure, summarization, and question generation and answering.

"Take Flight" KEY FINDINGS...

Students who complete "Take Flight" instruction show significant growth in all areas of reading skill.  Follow-up research with children who completed treatment indicates that students maintain the benefits of instruction on word reading skills and continue to improve in reading comprehension after one year. Students with the lowest reading skills acquire the strongest gains from Take Flight instruction.

​​Take Flight Program Overview  

Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia is a curriculum written by the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). Take Flight builds on the success of the three previous dyslexia intervention programs developed by the staff of TSRHC: Alphabetic Phonics, the Dyslexia Training Program and TSRH Literacy Program. The curriculum was designed for use by academic language therapists with children 7 years and older who have developmental dyslexia. It was developed to enable students with dyslexia to achieve and maintain better word recognition, reading fluency, reading comprehension and aid in the transition from a therapy setting to "real world" learning. Recent reading intervention studies, including data collected at TSRHC, were the impetus for writing Take Flight and have contributed to its design. Teaching trials in the TSRHC Dyslexia Laboratory and trials by therapists in collaborating public schools also influenced curriculum revision.     

Take Flight contains the five components of effective reading instruction supported by the National Reading Panel research meta-analysis and mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act:

• Phonemic awareness in Take Flight includes a systematic exploration of the articulation of phonemes and is fully integrated within decoding and spelling instruction.

• All phoneme-grapheme correspondence rules are introduced over a shorter time than previous TSRHC programs, allowing time for practice toward accuracy and automaticity in the application of phonic skills and for more guided reading practice with controlled and regular text. Also, there is an expanded use of etymology in teaching word analysis strategies.

• Vocabulary is expanded and enriched by developing morphological knowledge, word relationships, figurative language, syntax and semantics by direct instruction and in the context of reading.

• Fluency instruction incorporates guided and timed repeated reading of decodable words, phrases and connected text. Incentives, concrete measures of progress and daily home practice are also important elements of fluency training.

• A combination of techniques is used for instruction in reading comprehension, including comprehension monitoring, question generation, story structure, summarizing and inferencing. Students also learn how to utilize graphic and semantic organizers when reading narrative and expository texts.    

Take Flight is designed for small group instruction (four-six students) for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, five days each week. Alternatively, the lessons can be taught for 60 minutes each day for four days a week. Take Flight includes 132 lessons for a total of 230 hours of direct instruction.     

In the first 35 lessons (Books 1 and 2) of Take Flight, two new grapheme-phoneme rules are introduced each day. This program directly integrates grapheme introduction, phonemic awareness and spelling. Students apply their phonics knowledge reading single words and sentences that combine each lesson's new rules with previously learned material. Each lesson has additional opportunity for practice of the new phoneme during direct phonemic awareness and spelling exercises.     

The lesson cycle takes on a new look with Book 3. On alternating days, the lessons continue new grapheme-phoneme introductions with additional practice of all learned decoding rules. The alternate lessons provide the opportunity to practice previous learning through timed, repeated practice to improve reading fluency. These lessons also include comprehension strategy instruction and 20 minutes of oral reading of connected text that provides necessary practice for newly learned strategies.     

With Take Flight, students will lean all 44 phonemes of the English language, 96 grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules and 87 affixes. The students will also learn spelling rules for base words and derivatives. Practice opportunities are also provided that are designed to improve oral reading fluency. Finally, Take Flight introduces comprehension and vocabulary building strategies for both narrative and expository text in the context of oral reading exercises, preparing students for successful, independent reading.     

An on-going evaluation of Take Flight instruction with over one hundred students who attend the Dyslexia Lab at TSRHC indicates the students show statistically and more importantly, clinically significant growth in all areas of reading. Although below average on all measures of reading performance at the onset of treatment, the students’ performance was within the average range in decoding, word reading and comprehension when treatment concluded. Final status of word and text reading efficiency was lower, but still very near the low average range. Comparisons of reading growth from Take Flight with previous versions of Alphabetic Phonics instruction provide suggestive evidence for the efficacy of added comprehension and reading rate instruction. Finally, longitudinal results indicate that during the first year after treatment, the students maintained their word recognition gains and continued to show significant growth in reading comprehension. Additional follow-up assessments found that treatment gains in both word reading and comprehension were maintained at those levels up to four years post-treatment.Each of the five components is presented in the seven books of Take Flight.  This graphic shows when each component is taught within the curriculum.

Take Flight is a Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia

Take Flight is a two-year curriculum written by the staff of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders.  It is designed for use by Certified Academic Language Therapists for children with dyslexia ages 7 and older.  This two-year program was designed to be taught four days per week (60 minutes per day) or five days per week (45 minutes per day).   It is intended for one-on-one or small group instruction with no more than six students per class.  I see groups of no more than 3.



Lake Travis Dyslexia follows the Take Flight Program.