What if your dog could not only speak, but could also help build children’s vocabulary and their love of reading?

Martha Speaks logo

Martha, whose appetite for alphabet soup gives her the power of human speech, does just that! PBS KIDS animated television series, MARTHA SPEAKS, showcases a talking dog called Martha with the unique education goal of building children’s oral vocabulary. The MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program is an innovative, cross-age reading program inspired by the show of the same name.

MARTHA SPEAKS is designed to help kindergarten and upper-elementary students increase their vocabulary, develop self-esteem and social skills, and enhance their love of books and reading. This ground-breaking reading program pairs kindergarten or 1st grade students with 3rd- 5th graders to meet one-on-one for ten 45-minute sessions. Each session introduces four vocabulary words through a selected Martha Speaks episode, and then reinforces the vocabulary through activities Buddies do together.

Here’s how the program works!

Together, Buddy pairs watch and talk about a MARTHA SPEAKS episode. Then, they read and discuss a related picture book before doing a fun hands-on activity together, and writing in a journal to practice what they’ve learned. Students support each other and gain rich, varied instructional experiences with words while improving their vocabulary knowledge and fostering a love of books and reading. Like Martha, they improve their oral vocabulary comprehension, and have fun at the same time!

Sign up today by contacting Joy Foremaster at jforemaster@pbsreno.org or call 775.600.0551.

For more information on MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies, head to PBS LearningMedia.


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