This easy to use supplemental program helps teachers provide the structure, pacing, and practice at-risk readers need to succeed. An alternate to traditional reading programs, the Merrill Reading Program carefully introduces words according to sound and spelling patterns. Lessons begin with a chalkboard presentation highlighting similarities and differences among words, and repeated practice and exposure to these groups gives students the opportunity to apply and develop decoding skills in ways that encourage comprehension, development, and fluency. Words are grouped according to their sound and spelling similarities to provide a framework for building decoding skills and vocabulary. All levels are carefully sequenced so students develop confidence, and each story uses words introduced in earlier units with sights words incorporated a few at a time. Students never feel overwhelmed because information is introduced at an appropriate rate with ample time spent on review and reinforcement. Carefully crafted stories interest students while introducing comprehension skills. A placement test allows teachers to measure oral reading, vocabulary, and comprehension to help determine where a student starts.