About Winnie Thompson

Humanitarian Award

Winnie Thompson
Mayor of Hayward
Michael Sweeney

In 1992, when I started teaching in the Learning Center at the Hayward Adult School, I didn't realize that adults didn't know how to read. When I would ask students if they were reading or guessing, often times they would say they were guessing-as they had been taught to do.

Statistics show that one in five people in California-and in the United States-are functionally illiterate. The rate of illiteracy is much higher in third world countries.

I wanted to find ways to help my students to improve their reading skills. I created Fast Forward to Phonics because I found that a very simple presentation of phonics combined with whole language has worked the best. I have used Fast Forward to Phonics at the Hayward Adult School, where I have been teaching Literacy-GED students since 1996.

Winnie and Students

Dana King of CBS TV with Winnie Thompson
and students

I created a DVD companion to Fast Forward to Phonics in 2002 as part of my Master's thesis in Education at California State University, East Bay. It has received an excellent response. Fast Forward to Phonics began as a phonics book. It grew to include lessons which will help you improve your grammar, punctuation, essay writing, and math skills.

I've edited the book My Name Is America, a collection of my students' life stories, which are simultaneously heart-wrenching and inspiring.

Read testimonals about Winnie's Fast Forward to Phonics.