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Brenda Erickson

Rotary Club of Peachtree City, Georgia, USA

Brenda Erickson is an Association Montessori Internationale (A.M.I.) certified Montessori Primary teacher with four decades of experience teaching children to read. She is the founder of Counterpane Montessori School, a non-profit 501(c )3, in Fayetteville, GA.

Brenda is the developer of Souns – a Montessori-minded, early literacy program that teaches the fundamental tools of print.  Through Rotary, the Souns program has been introduced to pre-schools for early literacy in South Africa, Puerto Rico, and preschools in disadvantaged areas in the United States.

In the past decade, Souns has impacted thousands of children through preschools and Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa and more than 500 teachers and 4,000 students in Puerto Rico.

Through the Souns early literacy program, early childhood educators and parents acquire tools to help children build early literacy skills by introducing a concrete letter in association with its

most common sound in the child’s language. The child first learns the individual letter sounds,

then how to build words by listening to spoken sounds, and finally to read words by sounding out the letters. Souns is easy to implement, does not require extensive training, and utilizes durable materials. Sustainability has been the key to progress as experienced teachers train new teachers.