ABOUT MARSH EDUCATIONAL MINISTRIES
Welcome to Marsh Educational Ministries,
Without the ability to read well, a person cannot verify information given to them orally, know their rights, defend their freedoms, read the Bible for themselves to grow in their Christian life, or logically compare the ideas of others in society with the standard of the Word of God.
Is teaching people to read in a Christian context actually necessary in the United States? We have compulsory education. Doesn’t everybody already know how to read? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Latest figures indicate that 54% of all Americans are functionally illiterate and must be introduced to Christ as oral learners!
Now how do we disciple them? In response to this problem, Marsh Educational Ministries, Inc. and Westview Christian School exists to make disciples and to teach people to read words, so that they can read The Word, The Bible, and so that they can come to know The Word, Jesus Christ, not only as Savior but also as Lord. (John 1:1 -5 )
Deborah D. Marsh
Our philosophy stems from a western world view using logic based on Christian Principles found in the Bible. Therefore, to reflect this philosophical worldview, we chose to name our school Westview Christian School. While we are located on Eastview Dr., we do not have an eastern worldview but a western worldview.
The most important decision that anyone can make in life is to believe on Jesus Christ, repent, and be baptized for forgiveness of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) (See our statement of faith.)
Next people need to grow in Christ. While listening to preaching, tapes, CDs, Christian radio, and television do help people to grow in Christ, It is extremely helpful for them to be able to read the Bible for themselves.
If a person can read well and if their eyes are properly coordinated so that they can remember the things that they have read, then they can gain information from the text. If a person can read, they can teach themselves about anything that they want to learn. In this age of internet access almost anywhere in the world, a person can read the Bible in most major languages and look at a wealth of other information as well. However, this information is only truly available to those who can read it.
In order to read well, the student must understand the alphabetic principle, that the letters of the alphabet and some specific multi-letter combinations, represent sounds. Some letters and multi-letter phonograms have multiple sounds. Then they need explicit, intensive, systematic, multi-sensory, phonics instruction. All of the commonly used phonograms, those pieces of the English language that make a different sound when sounded together than they do separately, need to be taught and mastered first along with printing each phonogram. Then the major rules, governing the interaction of the letters in words, are listed in one place and are applied to words dictated into a spelling notebook, while making the student aware of sounds and rules applicable to each word. The student is using all four pathways to the brain to gain information. Hence, we do reading "write." We teach it the right way, as the research suggests, including insisting that students write down those things they are seeing, hearing, and speaking. Many programs skip this step and lose the kinesthetic learners, who learn best through writing.
Where ever missionaries have taken Christianity, schools and literacy are usually soon introduced as well. Yet, in the United States, 54% of the adult population are functionally illiterate, while only a small percentage of millennials identify as born again. If we do not intentionally evangelize and teach people to read in this generation, who will be left at home to support missions in foreign lands or to go to other places to share the Gospel in the next generation?
Mrs. Marsh began her career in tutoring and home schooling in 1986 with information from the Riggs Institute. After failing to teach her son to read using two other programs, she found a brochure for the Riggs Institute on an unmanned literature table at a homeschool convention. It proudly proclaimed that they had never found anyone of normal intelligence that they could not teach to read, write, and spell well. After giving Myrna McCulloch a call, she discovered that Myrna would be visiting her sister the next week in Kokomo, Indiana. Her sister had a computer at the time, which was uncommon in 1986, and was going to typeset Myrna's Teacher's manual. Because her sister ran a bowling alley with her husband of an evening, Myrna was not busy of an evening. So, Mrs. Marsh invited Myrna over for dinner and lessons on her reading program every evening for two weeks.
As a result her son went off to first grade in August that year reading on a third grade level after less than five months of instruction and Mrs. Marsh has been tutoring students this way ever since that experience.
As she studied old readers and observed students, she began to write her own reading program in 2005. The first book, a remake of Noah Webster’s Speller, along with a set of phonogram cards teaches anyone how to decode and verbally read anything inprint. The second book, the remake of another 1800s reader, addresses meaning, and deals with homophones. The third book, a remake of an old college textbook, addresses Greek and Latin derivatives and is still under development.
In 1992, after meeting Steve Shapiro and discovering The Learning Connection, she added Vision Therapy to her tutoring. This program has allowed her students to coordinate and aim their eyes together for easier reading, increased attention span, and faster memory processing skills.
Since 2016, students have been studying and learning to read well in our basement classrooms. Soon we plan to video the teaching of the phonograms and then move on to actual words as well using the current students to model the student response. The video project will move this project forward to teach English speakers to read English well so that they might read words, so that they can read The Word, The Bible, and so that they can come to know The Word, Jesus Christ, not only as Savior, but also as Lord.
Then in 1997 she obtained a School of Tomorrow (ACE) account allowing her to use their curriculum and graduate students with a high school diploma. In 2018, Westview Christian School received the designation as a site based school with our newly remodeled classroom allowing us to now offer achievement testing.
Once a student can read well, they begin studying other subjects using the self-instructional, ACE PACEs. Once a student can read well, they can use reading to teach themselves anything of interest to them.