Background
As a K-4 exceptional education resource teacher, I work with students of differing ability levels. I am constantly looking for materials that will provide my students with the needed skills /strategies and at the same time be motivational. Upon receiving a flyer from the Essential Skills Company, I decided to invest in some of their programs for my resource room. The programs appeared to cover the skills my students needed and included the technology component that my students enjoyed.

Process
To ensure that my investment of money and student work time was worthwhile, I decided to assess my students' progress in the area of phonemic awareness. I used the Star Early Literacy assessment to determine the effectiveness of the Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness program. My students ranged in grades from kindergarten through fourth. They worked on the phonemic awareness program 2-4 times per week for approximately fifteen minutes each time.

Results
Each student was given the Star Early Literacy test in August and again in April . Their phonemic awareness domain scores were as shown in the table below.

Conclusion
The students who were assessed showed an average of 27 points gain in the area of phonemic awareness. Due to the effectiveness of the Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness program, our school purchased a site license for that program. Since that time, we have also invested in other Essential Skills programs. These programs provide the students with the means to work at their own pace, as well as to practice a variety of activities within several reading components. Our school has found these programs to be very beneficial for both beginning and struggling readers.

Linda Riley
K-4 Exceptional Education Teacher
Buffalo Elementary School
LaRue County Schools
Buffalo, KY