Program Overview

What is PAF?

The PAF Reading Program is a comprehensive structured language program for teaching reading, spelling, and handwriting using multisensory techniques.  It is an effective beginning reading program for all children and incorporates practices supported by scientific research. When begun in kindergarten or first grade, it prevents reading failure in children at risk for learning difficulties. In addition, it can be used as an intervention program.

The PAF Reading Program is

  • Scientifically Proven, incorporating all the instructional practices supported by the latest research and recommended by the National Reading Panel.
  • Teacher Friendly, offering all the tools and resources teachers need to plan and teach daily reading lessons. The instructions are concise and easily accessible. PAF was designed for teachers, by teachers.
  • Based on Orton-Gillingham techniques, providing the most comprehensive and effective adaptation for the classroom and the only one coordinated with a series of decodable chapter books.

How PAF Works?

The PAF Reading Program provides children with the building blocks they need to develop a solid reading foundation critical for becoming proficient readers. Concepts are taught directly and explicitly in a specific sequence, with immediate teacher feedback. Each lesson offers children with the practice needed to develop word recognition and fluency, while teachers model comprehension strategies to understand fiction and non-fiction text.  This teaching technique results in minimum frustration—and maximum success, leading not only to an improvement in reading skills, but a sense of mastery and self-esteem.

Children are taught:

  • The sounds letters make and how to write them
  • How to use sounds to read and spell words
  • How to read and spell multisyllable words  
  • How to read accurately and fluently using lists of words, phrases, and sentences, and stories that contain only sounds and words that have been taught (controlled and decodable text)
  • How to apply comprehension strategies to understand what they read

How are the materials used in PAF lessons?

Each PAF reading lesson has five components: Review, Introduction of New Material, Dictation, Reading, and Reinforcement, regardless of the level in the PAF instructional sequence. The PAF materials are very easy to use. The Teacher Handbook facilitates effective planning of lessons and includes precise instructional language. The student materials are engaging and support the direct instruction model. We invite you to explore three PAF sample lessons.

How is PAF different from other reading programs?

The PAF Reading Program is based on the proven scientific understanding that reading must be taught systematically and through direct instruction under teacher supervision. Reading develops over time, and only when students are reading accurately and fluently can they access the meaning of text.

Some of the research-based practices that distinguish PAF from other reading programs are:

  • Sequence of concepts
  • Explicit instruction
  • Integration of reading, spelling, and handwriting in one lesson
  • Monitored oral reading
  • Repeated readings
  • Controlled and decodable text
  • Modeling of reading comprehension strategies   

Most importantly, all of these research-based practices are integrated in every PAF lesson. 


While teaching reading with PAF, teachers should also read literature to expose children to higher level vocabulary and provide them with background knowledge. It is important to select books with different genres (including non-fiction) and diverse characters and points of view. Allow blocks of time every week for read alouds.



Read to Learn

After the students finish reading The Dragons of Wellington, they are ready to transition into uncontrolled chapter books. Keep in mind, The Dragons of Wellington has a Lexile Level of 620L, which will help you determine the appropriate levels of chapter books for your students. The levels in Final Steps of the PAF sequence should be taught while the students are reading uncontrolled chapter books.