To Parents

To Teachers

Why Classic Stories Matter

History of the Project



Seventy-five stories which last over ten hours, hundreds of rhymes that cover two more hours, hundreds of pictures—these constitute not a digital book, but a digital library. Likely few children will sample more than a fraction of these, but educational research confirms that the more nursery rhymes and classic stories your child listens to, the earlier your child will read and the better reader your child will become.

459 kindergarten students in an urban school district in the South who regularly listened to these recordings at home and sometimes in class improved their vocabulary scores an average of 20 points (from the 27th to the 47th percentile), compared to a control group of 283 kindergarten students from the same school system who weren’t exposed to the discs. Three years later on statewide 3rd grade reading tests they scored in the highest of three ranges 35% more often than classmates who had not listened to our rhymes and stories, and scored at the lower range at a rate of only 7.6% compared to 16.1% of their classmates. [“Empowering Young Children in Poverty by Improving Their Home Literacy Environments,” Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30 (2016): 211-225. DOI:10.1080/02568543.2016.1143894. Walter Evans, Paulette Harris, Sankara Sethuraman, Dharma Thiruvaiuyaru, Elizabeth Pendergraft, Karen Cliett & Valerie Cato. Our article won the Distinguished Education Research Article Award for 2016, presented by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)]. These traditional rhymes and stories can help your child in other ways as well. For more discussion on the topic, see the About section “Why Classic Rhymes and Stories Matter.”

These traditional rhymes and stories can help your child in other ways as well. For more discussion on the topic, see: Why Classic Rhymes and Stories Matter.

A generous grant from PotashCorp in 2010 allowed us to manufacture and distribute 3500 discs, and an anonymous donor allowed us to distribute 700 more. An even more generous 2011 grants from PotashCorp, a sizeable commitment from the Richmond County School Board, and an anonymous donor allowed us to create and distribute in Fall 2011 30,000 discs with 10 hours of audio plus pictures and text, enough discs to place one in the hand of every kindergarten and pre-K student, teacher, and in every Media Center in 14 surrounding counties and donate 200 to the local library system.

Please donate to the English Program Schools Project at Augusta University.

Most of the children who most need these resources have no online computer access in the home, though the great majority do have a DVD player, Xbox or Playstation for which the disc is designed. We would love to be able to provide discs for these children, and to day care centers, Prime Time, Boys Clubs, Girls Clubs, hospitals—wherever children can benefit from them. All donations are tax deductible; please visit our Foundation website at or email or phone 706-737-1500.

Walter Evans, Project Director
Cal Stephens, Webmaster Emeritus
Gisela Font-Sayeras, Webmaster Emerita
Gabriel dos Santos, Webmaster