Professor George Cureton
Seventy teachers sat in a classroom at the University
of Alaska in 1974. A huge man walked through the door and began touching ovals with
pictures on them that were hanging across the front of the room on a piece of rope.
Their mouths dropped open in amazement as he started singing strange sounds to the
tune of "Zip a dee doo dah." By the end of the two days of training those 70 teachers
would have followed George Cureton through the streets of Anchorage singing the
I was fortunate to be the one who had arranged to bring Dr. Cureton to Alaska after
I had found his Action Reading program for the Anchorage School District. I had
been sent to look at every reading program in America and find the best one for
the Anchorage schools. I am still convinced , after 45 years, that it is the best
reading program available and the solution to America's illiteracy problem. On December
11th, 1995, Dr. George O. Cureton passed away from the complications of a stroke.
He was a charismatic, dedicated and much loved teacher. He is greatly missed by
all of us who knew him and continue to use his wonderful program. His contribution
to the children of America will live on forever.
He developed the Action reading program to teach young children to read but it can
also be used with older students who did not learn to read as children. In 1994,I
taught illiterate adults to read in two weeks for the Oprah Winfrey Show. I used
Action Reading. Dr. Cureton appeared on the show with me and the students. They
were so grateful that his method had changed their lives, The new edition of the
Action Reading Teacher's Guide is dedicated to the loving memory of our friend,
mentor and fellow teacher, Dr. George O. Cureton.