The Learning Program


The Learning Program is an early literacy and numeracy program for children with Down syndrome. It was developed by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County in California in partnership with researchers, educators and therapists. It is an innovative program that delivers evidence-based educational support to children, parents and teachers. The program’s goal is to improve the overall development and academic success of all children with Down syndrome.


The DSC’s Learning Program meets one Saturday per month for 10 sessions and has between 7 – 12 families in each class. During each 90 minute session, children receive small group instruction with a focus on literacy, numeracy, fine motor skills and language development from special educators and therapists. Simultaneously in a separate classroom, parents in the program receive instruction on a wide range of topics such as “Teaching Your Child to Read”, “Introduction to Math” and “Creating an Effective Learning Session”. At-home materials are distributed to allow parents to reinforce the skills learned during the session at home. Teachers and therapists affiliated with the program receive information about effective teaching strategies and cognitive, developmental and educational research.


Learning Program Levels Offered by the DSC


Based on the number of registrations received for the 2017-2018 school year, we are offering 2 levels of the Learning Program: Pre-K and Level 2. Please see below for class descriptions, dates, times and location.


Level Pre-K

Level Pre-K is geared towards families with a child between the ages of 3-4 years old, or preschool/pre-kindergarten, and assumes no prior literacy knowledge and provides an opportunity for parents with young children to give their learners a jump-start on literacy activities. The materials used in the classes are designed to foster language development by building vocabulary through the introduction of an instructional process, Match-Select-Name. By the end of this class students should be comfortable matching picture-to-picture and understand at least 50 words.
Pre-K Level includes:

  • Ten 90 minute classes for parents/caregivers and child
  • DSF Sight Word Readers – Single Words


Level 2

Level 2 is geared towards families with a child between the ages of 6-9, or 1st to 3rd grade, depending on skill level. Level 2 builds on skills acquired in Level 1 and students entering this class should have a solid foundation of Level 1 skills. They should have a bank of sight words as we will be working with predictable text such as carrier phrases and sentences with familiar pattern and repetition. Students will be developing beginning text-based comprehension skills such as understanding new vocabulary and recalling what they have just read.
Level 2 includes:

  • Ten 90 minute classes for parents/caregivers and child
  • Lakeshore Emergent Book Reader and Lakeshore Emergent Book Reader Supporting Materials: 3-double-sided boards (1 picture/word matching board and 1-WORD Draw-A-Line 1-PICTURE Draw-A-Line) plus picture and word flash cards


Learning Program 2017 – 2018 Times, Dates and Location

Pre-K A – 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Pre-K B – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Level 2 – 1:00 – 2:30 PM


September 16
October 14
November 18
December 9
January 20
February 10
March 10 
April 21
May 12
June 9


All classes meet at the Fairview Christian School, 844 NE 78th St, Seattle, WA 98115. Click HERE for directions.