Voweletics gives children the reading tools they need. Voweletics put the joy into learning to read!

Dreamer: Jane Volden

Business: Voweletics...The New Phonetics

Location: Bettendorf, IA

Industry Contest: Retail/Wholesale

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Voweletics is a vivacious & interactive learn-to-read program. It accelerates this process, while keeping the fun factor alive!Whimsical characters, 23 teaching songs, colorful charts plus web-based & hands-on activities makes learning key reading skills fun & memorable.Easy to learn & fun to teach!
Business Description:
Voweletics™ Business Model
The Problem: URGENT Need for Reading Improvement!

According to our NATIONAL REPORT CARD (May 7, 2014) put out by the Federal National Assessment of Educational Progress, our national reading scores continue to remain low.
• Only 33% of 4th graders read at or above reading proficiency levels.
• Only 37% of 12th graders read at or above reading proficiency levels.
• The United States ranks 17th globally in reading literacy skills.

Good reading skills are the key to educational success. Our diminishing reading scores are of genuine concern for our state representatives and parents of struggling students. An effective new method for teaching children to read is a must. Voweletics provides this method.
Voweletics provides an innovative method of reading instruction. When you understand the how and why words sound the way they do, you can duplicate the rules and not simply try to memorize words.

Voweletics attacks the hardest part of reading (vowel sound recognition), simplifies the method of this learning, and makes it fun for all!

Voweletics Penetration to Effect Reading Improvement

Voweletics positively impacts children, families and the community. Our children are the future, and their ability to effectively read at a high level is vital to long-term economic growth.

THINK BIG - START SMALL – SCALE FAST

The THINK BIG began in 2004, when as a reading tutor I saw the need to help struggling readers by developing a systematic method to teach phonics skills. It had to be fun and engaging! Being a girl who likes to sing, the songs became the starting point where rules were set to music. Rules became charts until charts became one chart – The Smart Chart. All the rules were condensed into one chart that maps the internal process for word decoding for all levels of readers. The program has given children “go-to” rules to help them read and spell, but also has delighted them along the way.

The five short vowel characters teach good values to live by through their songs, stories and poems. Since its original conception, the vision has been to create a learning environment for children where the whimsical characters and fun songs may eventually be sold in book stores as stuffed animals where you press their bellies and they play their songs. These would be accompanied by the books written by the characters that live Voweletics town called Readersville.

This START SMALL strategy began with the Buddy-Up Reading Program (pre-Voweletics). The program was offered at a local community center where parent/child partners received six weeks/one hour per week of instruction. Students were given pre and post testing. The results were excellent. In 2006, the Buddy-Up Reading Program evolved into the business entity of BU Publishing, LLC with its signature product being Voweletics™…The New Phonetics. In 2008, Voweletics was in its first school. I became a teacher in this school where I could see first-hand what was working and where improvements could be made. Voweletics went to the next level with accompanying spelling programs and a responsive web design that allows children to do the activities and play the songs on computers, tablets and smart phones.

With development complete, we are now entering the SCALE FAST stage. The penetration path is detailed below. The focused direction is listed in order of priority markets. The priority markets were determined based upon the following factors:

• Operation on a small budget
• Ease of penetration
• Product design to meet varying niches

Market Penetration
I. HOME USERS
Increasingly, parents are seeking ways to help their children to succeed. Many parents experience the need to support their children struggling to read. Other parents are seeking ways to accelerate their children’s reading progress. Voweletics meets both needs.

Market penetration begins with personal sphere of influence and expands through use of social media and word-of-mouth.

II. HOME SCHOOLERS
The number of children homeschooled continues to show a steady increase nationwide. Homeschool parents find teaching a child to read to be one of the most difficult tasks to take on. Voweletics clearly outlines the essential skills, gives them weekly lesson plans, and has multi-leveled activities, so they can teach multiple children using the same teaching method. Video teaching tutorials for each lesson are especially valuable for homeschooling parents. This is both time and cost efficient for the parent.

Market penetration begins by connecting with homeschool networks in a defined geographical area using advertising, conventions, and sample product distribution.

III. ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Due to globalization, the US is experiencing an increased demand for instruction for both children and adults in English. As with any learner, the vowel sounds are the most difficult part of learning to read. This is especially so with ELL leaners. For example; in Spanish, there are only five different vowel sounds. The English language has 18 different vowel sounds with multiple spellings. Voweletics provides an almost mathematical method to help them determine the correct vowel sounds to use in words.

Market penetration begins by distributing sales videos to junior colleges and learning centers in defined geographical areas. Follow-up e-mails and phone calls would be made to push sales.

IV. CHARTER/MAGNET SCHOOLS
Charter and magnet schools are generally partially or fully funded by public dollars. They promote alternative methods of learning. Voweletics incorporates innovative memory techniques to accelerate the learning-to-read process: (1) Uses multi-sensory program components: visual, auditory and kinesthetic (learn by doing) (2) Encourages the combined use of the analytical left brain and the creative right brain (3) Facilitates rapid memory recall via association techniques, otherwise known as mnemonic processes. Entry into charter and magnet schools, provides an entrance point into public schools funded with the same dollars. Growth in public schools can be exponential.

Market penetration begins by distributing sales videos to charter and magnet schools in defined geographical areas. Follow-up e-mails and phone calls would be made to push sales.

V. PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Private schools pride themselves on smaller class size, accelerated learning environment, ability to practice religious freedoms, and ability to make individual school curriculum decisions. Voweletics provides the accelerated learning and encourages values. Private schools provide Voweletics with an easier point of entry due to the curriculum decisions being made on site as opposed to district or state decisions required for public schools.

Market penetration begins by distributing sales videos to charter and magnet schools in defined geographical areas. Follow-up e-mails and phone calls would be made to push sales.

VI. PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Public schools are the most difficult arena to enter. Voweletics would require a larger support staff for school districts. With successful management and retention of single building schools, as with the two Voweletics currently services, a more exact school needs profile is being compiled. Due to the advantages of recurring revenue from schools, a scaled growth model would include the public schools.

Market penetration begins by distributing sales videos to public schools in defined geographical areas. Follow-up e-mails and phone calls would be made to push sales.

VII. ON-LINE VOWELETICS TUTORING
With the insurgence of online tutoring, Voweletics has the essentials to make this a viable concept. It could be added as an adjunct to home and home school customers for an additional fee. The possibility of making it totally on-line with webinars for each of the 26 lessons is a possibility to develop. The instructional material is already developed; however, further development would be required to deliver material and instruction in a completely remote medium.

Market penetration feasibility and strategies are under consideration.

VIII. FAMILY LITERACY/ ADULT LEARNING CENTERS
There is a growing demand to increase the adult literacy rate. Programs have been initiated to teach the adult alone or parent/child in conjunction. Voweletics™ lends itself to meet this market. Its 26-lessons with video tutorials and checklist of activities, plus at-home access to the web with audio files, makes it ideal for a parent/child partnership to thrive. The parent learns along with the child in a fun learning environment.

Market penetration feasibility and strategies are under consideration.

IX. RETAIL STORES
The magic of Readersville, where all the Voweletics characters live and teach children to live, are all in place. They all have distinct qualities that draw the children in through their songs, stories and poems. One Readersville Reader book already written, Summer Vacation. Each book consists for five chapters, which each of the central short vowel characters writing about the story events from their first-person perspective. The model would be to have these five characters made into stuffed animals with their signature songs which each teach a different life value recorded in their bodies. Children could press their belly and their song would sing. The chapter books would be sold separately. They could be sold at book stores, gift stores or school book fairs, as well as on-line.

Market penetration feasibility and strategies are under consideration.

Cost of Goods Gross Profit Margins
COG margins are excellent. Development is complete. The majority of product is delivered via the web. Hardcopy costs consist of a workbook and chart which results in high profit margin. Now that the product has been designed and the platform is scalable, the costs of goods per unit are minimal in relation to retail.

Three Year Schedule for Expected Revenues
Within the next three years, using the market penetration strategies, Voweletics plans to be recognized as the “phonics expert” in the home and home school market. Continued presence in the home and home school market will foster reputation credibility and increase data points for entry into the vast network of public schools.

Revenue Generation

Voweletics is a stand-alone product. Revenue is generated through sales of the product via ecommerce or school sales. The product is delivered primarily through the Internet, as well as consumable student workbooks and charts. Customers pay up front prior to receiving the product; which promotes an ideal cash flow model for Voweletics.

VOWELETICS™ PRODUCT PRICING FOR HOME SALES

$149.99 – Voweletics™ …The New Phonetics
One Year On-Line License *per household (detailed content listed below)
Student Kit *hardcopy delivery
-Student Workbook (detailed content listed below)
-Decoding Charts

$189.99 – Voweletics™…The New Phonetics PLUS
One Year On-Line License *per household (detailed content listed below)
Student Kit *hardcopy delivery
-Student Workbook (detailed content listed below)
- Decoding Charts
Voweletics™ Spelling Program *web delivery
-Level I,II &III; - spelling lists to accompany the 26 Voweletics™ lessons
Readersville Reader Kit *web delivery
-Comprehension kit accompanying 78-Reader’s Theater pieces

$39.00 – Additional Student Kit
Student Workbook
Decoding Charts

$29.00 – Additional Student Workbook

$19.99 – Additional Decoding Charts

$49.99 – Renewable One Year On-Line License *per household

Future Voweletics™ Add-On Products
$49.99 – Pre-Voweletics™ 200-Page Workbook *hardcopy delivery
30 One-Page Lesson Plans
Five worksheets to accompany each lesson

$29.99 - Voweletics™ Spelling Program *web delivery
Voweletics™ Spelling Program
-Level I,II & III - spelling lists to accompany the 26 Voweletics™ lessons

$29.99 – Readersville Reader Kit *web delivery
Comprehension kit accompanying 78-Reader’s Theater pieces

On-Line Content
26 Lessons each containing:
-Chalkboard Session- short, step-by-step video instruction lesson skill
-Lesson Plan – easy, one page, five-day plan
-Character Introduction – Voweletics character introduces itself to serve as guideword
-Character Song – memorable song to learn the character guidewords
-Rule Song – memorable song to teach phonics rules
-Word Lists – audio files to accompany Student Workbook
-Worksheets - two different skill levels for lesson skill practice
-Reader’s Theater – three poems or stories with fluency audio files
-Student Checklist – self-directed list of fluency and skills practice

Additional Content:
-Review Word Lists – cumulative word decoding and audio fluency practice
-Spell Wells – cumulative spelling audio assessments
-Martian Madness – cumulative audio assessments for word decoding
-Smart Chart Reviews –PPTs to accompany Student Workbook
-Word Family Practice – PPTs to accompany Student Workbook

Student Workbook Content
Character Songs –lyrics and flashcards for vowel sound guidewords
Rule Songs – memorable lyrics to teach 11 phonics rules
Word Lists – over 800 words of controlled vocabulary
Sort it Out Games – letter tiles to form 180 phonetically patterned words
Endless Endings – letter tiles to add endings to 90 different words w/rules
Word Family Activities –single consonant and consonant blends practice
Smart Chart Reviews – cumulative practice identifying vowel patterns
Sight Word Progression Charts for 55 sets of isolated sight words and sight word phrases

The Competition
Saxon Phonics: $170 – Kindergarten $164 - 1st Grade $164 - 2nd Grade
The Home School Kit consists of 500+ page teacher’s manual, two student workbooks, an alphabet strip, three sets of kid card games, letter cards, key word cards, spelling cards, letter tiles, 15 readers, work list booklet, rule book , audio pronunciation tape, and introductory video.
Sing, Spell, Read, Write: $307 – Ages 5 – 8
23- phonetic readers, CD w/songs to teach phonograms(sounds) bingo and card deck games, phonogram strips for blending, cardboard treasure chest for prizes, phonics placemat, raceway chart and car for tracking progress, teacher’s manual, four consumable student workbooks, assessment book and teacher training video. All self-contained in a box.
Hooked on Phonics: $239 – Ages 5 – 8 (presently sale priced at $180)
24-storybooks, 6 celebrated author storybooks, 6 workbooks, 6 DVDs, quick start guide, 6 sets of stickers, access to Learn to Read on-line experience

Voweletics™…The New Phonetics $149 – single K - 2nd+ Kit
This signature product, Voweletics™, is a learn-to-read program used as a stand-alone product for direct sales and /or a supplement to complement the core reading programs used in elementary schools. The Voweletics reading method teaches to the hardest part of reading, correct vowel sound determination. Voweletics utilizes an innovative charting method where students both learn and reinforce essential phonics rules in order to effectively decode and spell words. Instructional videos accompany each of the 26-lessons to teach learners this new methodology. Voweletics brings learning and fun together.
Its combined use of interactive activities with memorable songs and characters helps to cement and simplify difficult vowel sound determination. The LOOK! THINK! READ! method presented in the program is unique in its nature. It teaches a student the internal process necessary when decoding words using the vowel patterns to correctly determine vowel sounds in words. This internal process has been simplified and is reproducible when following an easy-to-follow flow chart, which summarizes the 26-lesson curriculum. The information provided is complete and can be used for any level of complexity in an English word all the way through adulthood.

The Voweletics team is pleased its competitors have experienced such phenomenal success. They share the same approach, that providing phonetic skills for learners is key to successful reading and spelling. However, the methodology and precision that Voweletics delivers ensures all readers of any age receives the key essentials. Voweletics provides the tools one needs, and puts joy into learning to read. It simply cannot get much better!
Reason for Entering:
DREAM BIG – GROW HERE
Use of Funds
Thank you so much for this opportunity. DREAM BIG – GROW HERE is very exciting and provides a launching pad for Voweletics to enter the home market. Voweletics has been operating in one school for five years, another school for three, and recently beginning home sales. The program has evolved and has proven statistics showing its effectiveness in teaching children to read.

In preparing an on-line course for educators which teaches the foundational skills for reading, video tutorials were created to demonstrate the Voweletics learning method for instructional purposes. With the creation of these tutorials for each of the 26 lessons in Voweletics, it is now possible for parents/educators to learn the method using the tutorials as their sole training method. Hence, we are beginning the next business of stage: eCommerce. This requires marketing dollars to launch. The funds from the grant would be applied towards marketing needs. It will help to enable us to reach home and school users to grow in the marketplace.

In our Voweletics business model, expansion will begin in four geographic areas: Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. If this grant is awarded to Voweletics in May, the early stages of social media creation will already have been in place. A huge portion of the “grunt work” will have been executed. With the above groundwork in place, wise usage of marketing dollars will follow. The benefit of having been in development for a good period of time is that I have been “around the block” a bit. Through experience, I am better able to recognize where the next step in our growth is evolving. Listed below are the present areas of concentration for market penetration.

In keeping with our business model: THINK BIG - START SMALL - SCALE FAST, I believe we are somewhere between start small and scale fast. The marketing dollars would be placed in the following order from easiest to hardest for Voweletics to penetrate. Along this next journey, I believe a true niche will begin to open up, and we may need to adjust our growth path. We are ready for the ride!

MARKETING DOLLARS SPENT - *Marketing dollars appropriated in the order of priority for market penetration.
NOTE: The dollar amounts for social media marketing were obtained from an outside marketing firm. The marketing firms specializes in start-up companies and preparing social media marketing with a conservative approach.

I.HOME – PARENTS SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO HELP THEIR CHILD
SOCIAL MEDIA
FACEBOOK
• Use advertising to promote posts with key messages. Promote within identified geographic areas and targeting parents of appropriate-aged children. Use “page likes” ads as well as promoted posts.
• Start with $5 a day for five days. Make the most of a small budget, keep the geography close until can afford to invest more in advertising.
• Review analytics and revise ad creative and targeting as necessary.

TWITTER
• Use advertising to promote tweets with key messages and to promote the account.
• Target followers of similar pages. Start with $25 for five days.
• Review analytics and revise campaign as necessary.
• Ads are the best way to create awareness and increase followers.

LINKEDIN
• Use advertising to promote posts with key messages.
• Target member of relevant groups of teachers and educators in the geographic markets you are targeting.
• Start with $25 for a month and see how it goes. This target is pretty narrow. This type of user doesn’t use the network very often, may not get many impressions or clicks on your ads.
• Review analytics and revise campaign as necessary.

GOOGLE ADWORDS
• Run ads that will appear when people search on keywords.
• Start with $200 to run over a month to run in the geographic markets targeted.
• Pay only for the clicks that you get on the ads.


II. HOME SCHOOLERS - PARENTS EDUCATING THEIR CHILD
SOCIAL MEDIA
FACEBOOK
• Use advertising to promote posts with key messages. Promote within identified geographic areas and targeting parents of appropriate-aged children. Use “page likes” ads as well as promoted posts.
• Start with $5 a day for five days. Make the most of a small budget, keep the geography close until can afford to invest more in advertising.
• Review analytics and revise ad creative and targeting as necessary.

TWITTER
• Use advertising to promote tweets with key messages and to promote the account.
• Target followers of similar pages. Start with $25 for five days.
• Review analytics and revise campaign as necessary.
• Ads are the best way to create awareness and increase followers.

LINKEDIN
• Use advertising to promote posts with key messages.
• Target member of relevant groups of teachers and educators in the geographic markets you are targeting.
• Start with $25 for a month and see how it goes. This target is pretty narrow. This type of user doesn’t use the network very often, may not get many impressions or clicks on your ads.
• Review analytics and revise campaign as necessary.

GOOGLE ADWORDS
• Run ads that will appear when people search on keywords.
• Start with $200 to run over a month to run in the geographic markets targeted.
• Pay only for the clicks that you get on the ads.

Homeschool Networks
• Considering paying for a list of networks in geographic area after trying with ones publicly posted.
• Create and prepare a DVD for network meeting on How to Teach a Child to Read – copy & mail
• Advertise in homeschool publications.
• Budget entrance fees for homeschool conferences.


III. ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS – ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
• Produce a video with emphasis on the Voweletics method helping ELL. Costs to cover the specialist and video expenses.

IV. CHARTER/MAGNET SCHOOLS – SCHOOLS USUALLY W/PUBLIC FUNDING, PROMOTING INNOVATIVE LEARNING METHODS. CAN SERVE AS AN ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
• Considering paying for a list of charter/magnet schools in our defined geographic area after resourcing publicly posted schools.
• Prepare a video emphasizing the creative, innovation Voweletics Method.
• Advertise in charter school publications.
• Budget for entrance fees for charter school conferences.

V. PRIVATE SCHOOLS – NOT PUBLICLY FUNDED/ ELECTIVE ENROLLMENT
• Considering paying for a list of private schools in our defined geographic area after resourcing publicly posted schools.
• Produce a video with emphasis on accelerated learning using the Voweletics Method and values based learning. Costs to cover the specialist and video expenses.

VI. PUBLIC SCHOOLS – HARDEST TO PENETRATE/ GREATEST COMPETITION
• No marketing budget at this time. Follow-up exclusively on personal leads.

VII. ON-LINE TUTORING – VOWELETICS IS PERFECTLY POSITIONED TO SERVE ON-LINE TUTORING. PRODUCT IS COMPLETE. DELIVERY ON-LINE IS COST EFFECTIVE. RESEARCH IS BEING CONDUCTED TO EXPLORE THIS AVENUE.
• No marketing budget at this time

VIII.FAMILY LITERACY/ADULT LEARNING CENTERS – FAMILY PROGRAM W/ALL MEMBERS NEEDING READING ASSISTANCE. RESEARCH IS BEING CONDUCTED TO EXPLORE THIS AVENUE.
• No marketing budget at this time

IX.RETAIL STORES – BOOKSTORES AND GIFT SHOPS TO SUPPLY STUFFED ANIMAL VOWEL CHARACTERS W/SONG AND VALUE TAUGHT. BOOKS BY THE CHARACTERS WOULD BE SOLD SEPARATELY. RESEARCH IS BEING CONDUCTED TO EXPLORE THIS AVENUE.
• No marketing budget at this time

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