Stepping Stones to Reading

Stepping Stones to Reading is our unique reading and phonics program designed by our beloved Mrs.Fritz, with over 40 years of teaching experience. The program includes interactive lessons, fun skill building activities, and high interest stories and books that appeal to all kinds of learners.

Kids Come First offers SSR as an "enrichment" program for the all-day component in the fours and fours plus classes.

You may have wondered at one time, can a very young child learn the "magic" of reading? The answer is Yes! Absolutely!

This is how the "magic" happens:

In a classroom filled with patience, encouragement and caring, the children begin to learn the letters of the alphabet (a few at time) and the letter sounds. The children practice together listening to each other as they learn. The letters become locked into their memory.

Next, the children begin to sound simple words. Simple words become sentences! This is how the "magic" of reading begins . . . how the foundation of language skills is laid.

In this classroom many other important language skills are included:

  • Vocabulary Development - opposites rhyming words

  • Creative Writing - whole class stories are written.

  • Literature - Author of the month

  • Computer Activities - reinforce class lessons.

  • Conversation - Informal interaction with classmates at snack and at play.


This very special class provides lots of one on one attention  so that each child's strengths and needs can be recognized and met.

As the school year comes to an end all the children have learned the important skills of reading. They are ready to move to Kindergarten with confidence and knowledge.


Is it "magic"? No, not really. It is a GIFT that lasts forever!

** Previously Called HOP

Parent Testimonials:

"My experience in having our son attend HOP with Mrs. Fritz has been invaluable! She is a vested and compassionate teacher who leaves a lasting impression on both the children and their parents. As a volunteer in her classroom for the past year, I have witnessed the learning curve and mastery of phonics with all the children. They are very well-prepared for Kindergarten and I can say without a doubt, it is due to Mrs. Fritz's investment into each child's ability and motivation to learn. She will always hold a special place in our hearts and Hampton and I will miss her deeply."

. . . . . . The Eubinag Family, Monrovia, MD


I just wanted to let you know of my appreciation for the HOP program that Jake was part of this year. He has absolutely loved it and every Monday/Wednesday morning he is excited to find out that it is a HOP day. I think a huge part of his excitement is that he gets to spend a couple of hours with Mrs. Fritz! He adores her and they have such a special relationship. You can just see the love that she has for her students and that she truly enjoys the time she spends with them. She is so nice but at the same time she challenges her students to be the best they can be. Jake started out this school year not knowing the sounds each letter makes and now he is fully reading!! He read a book to me last night and I couldn’t believe the progress he has made in this program that is only 2 days per week. He now knows the sounds of each letter, how to blend the letters and sounds to make full words! Not only do I feel like he is absolutely ready for kindergarten next year, but he is ahead of the game! Mrs. Fritz is amazing and I like that when Jake wasn’t fully confident with one of his practice words she wouldn’t let him off the hook until he mastered it! I have to admit that in the beginning of the school year when Mrs. Fritz told me Jake would be reading by the end of the program, I was very skeptical, but it’s really true! I can’t say enough good things about this program!! Not only did Jake fully enjoy it but he learned to so much too! A HUGE thank you to both you and Mrs. Fritz for making this program available!

. . . . . . . J. Bambalas, New Market, MD

Mrs. Fritz is an amazing teacher. Through her experience with the HOP program, my daughter has learned many sight words, word families, and blending skills. Because of this program, I feel she is very ready for Kindergarten. She has so much confidence as a beginnin reader and I owe that all to Mrs. Fritz. Her kindness and compassion for teaching has been such a blessing to my daughter's learning and we couldn't be happier! . . . . . . . A. Phamdo, New Market, MD

The HOP program and Mrs. Fritz's guidance have directly influenced my daughter's confidence level in and out of school. The HOP program has given her the tools to begin reading on her own, which has resulted in her excitement to demonstrate her newly learned skills to everyone who will listen! Her love of books, which has always been strong, just continues to grow, thatnks to HOP and Mrs. Fritz. Mrs. Fritz's kindness and patience are a great cofort to a young child beginning to navigate school, but to us as parents as well. My daughter feels safe and comfortable, which has helped her to develop confidence in herself and her abilities

. . . . . . . . J. Posey, New Market, MD

"The Hooked on Phonics program gave my son such confidence - he looked forward to reading to us after each lesson and he is so proud of his reading skills. During his Kindergarten pre-assessment, the teacher was very impressed with his ability to sound out words, and my son thought the reading test was so "EASY"!!! He's already a step ahead for Kindergarten!" . . . . . . J. Pedersen, Mt. Airy, MD

“My daughter loved attending her Hooked On Phonics class. She learned to read several sight words as well as word families, such as “at”, “cat”, etc. She was so excited when she could read words from her older sister’s books. Hooked On Phonics has helped prepare her for kindergarten in the fall! I would highly recommend this program to other families.”

. . . . . . M. Johnson, Mt Airy, MD.

"Imagine my surprise when I heard my son reading out loud on his own! Hooked on Phonics has really been an amazing asset to his education. Not only has it helped him learn to sound out words, it's helped him become more confident in himself. He is well prepared and excited about going to Kindergarten. I highly recommend this program to everyone!"

. . . . . . . B. Johnston, Mt. Airy, MD.