In 1985 Narda moved to Japan. She was told the fastest way to learn to speak Japanese was to learn to read it first. Within one week Narda was able to read Japanese – with the use of their decoding symbols, called Hiragana, that “live” under all 10,000 complicated kanji characters. Japan has one of the highest literacy rates in the world due to this decoding teaching method. When her daughter was in first grade, Narda was told she was a “challenged reader.” After learning to read a language with 10,000 characters in only one week, Narda didn’t understand why her daughter could not master her native language, that consists of only 26 letters. Then, she got an idea… adapt the Japanese method for learning to read English, so learning to read English would be easy, too. Narda made a plan to reach and to teach challenged readers who still struggle.
In 2002 Narda created and completed the “Sound Map.” This maps out the 38 sounds of the English language. She also completed the development of the “symbols” that represent the letters in the English language that make more than one sound (14 of our letters).
In 2005 Narda created the first Practice Book using the symbols for decoding words.
In 2006 Narda was interviewed on a local television station. As a result, Narda had the opportunity to teach many local adult challenged readers using her innovative program.
In 2008 Narda developed the program in Brazilian Portguese for a local business woman who traveled to Brazil for work. Narda then realized that her program could be developed in any language.
In 2009 Narda developed the program in Spanish.
In 2012 Narda started teaching adult detainees how to read English at the Blaine County Detention Center in Hailey, Idaho. She also taught an additional 21 detainees at a women’s “Rider Program” detention center in Kuna, Idaho. Nardagani was adopted by the Idaho State Department of Education. All Idaho public schools now have approval to use Nardagani for their challenged readers.
In February 2013 Narda successfully taught a 12-year-old boy with autism named Sven to read. His teachers had told his family that “Sven may never learn to read.”
By March 2013 Narda began creating the children’s program.
By July 2013 Narda, with the help of Brad Pearson, created, coded and completed “The Adventures of Ran” practice book for middle-school-age children.
In August 2013 Nardagani was supported by the Blaine County School District (BCSD) to run a two week pilot program with BCSD challenged readers. Every one of these students gained confidence in reading after just four lessons! Visit Nardagani.com to watch video testimonials of these new readers.
By October 2013 Narda wrote, coded and completed three “Magical Worms” practice books for Pre-K children as the foundational practice books for Nardagani.
In November 2013 the Nardagani Reading Program “Instructor Kit” (including all materials, instructions for use and a 30-minute Instuctional DVD) was completed and ready for distribution.
In December 2013 a study in the Blaine County Detention Center showed that after completing four to six lessons, an inmate could teach another inmate to read using Nardagani.
In January 2014 Narda was interviewd by anchor Dee Sarton at KMVT television in Boise, Idaho. As a result, she began to really reach teachers and parents of challenged readers.”
At the end of January 2014 the largest state detention facility in Ontario, Oregon – The Snake River Detention Center began the program “Inmates Teaching Inmates to Read” with wonderful success.
By March 2014 Narda wrote, coded and completed another “Magical Worms” practice book for third- and fourth-grade level children. It is a delightful story of Vermicompost worms meet Bookworms!
In June 2014 Narda received an angel investment.
In January 2014 Narda moved out of her home office and into a small office in downtown Hailey. She completed the “Student Kit.” in Jose Varela teaches people of all ages to read Spanish as a first language, English as a second language and Spanish as a second language. Nardagani instructors continue to teach challenged readers in the local detention center and throughout our community and Idaho. The Snake River Detention Center in Oregon has completed a pilot program with the English and the Spanish programs.
In April 2016 A research study was completed Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm, a nationally recognized literacy expert and professor at Boise State University (jeffreywilhelm.com), conducted a research study to explore the efficacy of Nardagani on the decoding skills and reading fluency rate of struggling readers in a school setting. Below are some of the findings.
Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm:
“The initial results of our teacher research studies demonstrate that Nardagani is easy for teachers to learn and use (significantly more so than traditional teaching methods for decoding) and for students and parents to use in the role of teacher or thinking partner as well. The studies also demonstrate that the approach has benefits to readers that go well beyond decoding and assists them to comprehend on literal and then inferential levels….Given the significance of reading to modern life, and the finding in recent studies that reading ability and time spent pleasure reading in youth is the most significant factor in cognitive progress and social mobility and attainment over time, any method that can help students to read in the way Nardagani does is actually helping to address a civil rights issue of tremendous moral and economic importance.”
Jody Braun, Special Education, Lake Hazel Middle School, West Ada School District:
“Data gathered shows that completing the Nardagani program can yield a large amount of growth in a short time frame….I have been teaching special education language learning labs for three years and until being introduced to the Nardagani Reading Program, had not found a program that teaches decoding in a different way than it is traditionally taught in the primary grades. The method of teaching needs to be different because the previous approaches have either not worked, or only partially worked. A need for a novel approach also exists because the system of special education at the state level requires teachers to use some form of research based intervention curriculum. Our current options are few, and quite frankly poor.”
Annette Wall, seventh grade teacher at Saint Paul School, Nampa School District:
“The Nardagani Reading Method uses a simple, structured method to help students improve their decoding skills and, thereby, improve reading fluency….With the scaffolded support of the Nardagani symbols, readers do not have to guess, analyze, or remember rules and exceptions, instead, the consistent phonemesound correspondence allows them to immediately recognize, and verbalize, the necessary sounds to produce the words in text.”
Jon Buckridge, English teacher, Nampa School District:
“A five year old, bilingual, Kindergarten student with no prior reading instructions was taught Nardagani on the eight-lesson plan. At the end of 10 weeks this student showed marked improvement and tested at a second grade reading level without the Nardagani symbols upon exiting Kindergarten.”
Nardagani has been formed as a for-profit company, consistent with nearly all educational materials suppliers and publishers.