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How We Bring Joy to Early Readers at Dear Izzy

It's a magic recipe, with not-so-secret ingredients!

Our mission at Dear Izzy is to bring joy and excitement to the early reading experience.  When given the space and freedom to follow their own curiosity and interests, children derive deep meaning and joy in the learning experience.  This is when children are intrinsically motivated to learn, to engage, to grow.
After nearly two years of trialing and testing letters with early readers, we think we have perfected the magic recipe for our letters.

Every single aspect of Dear Izzy is designed to bring joy and excitement to your early reader.

Magic Ingredient #1 - The Content

It's all about the content!  Each letter contains what we like to call, a "Dear Izzy Moment"  - a moment where the child stops reading, eyes light up, and they begin asking questions, laughing, or thinking out loud.

  • These emotional reactions help build a strong, internalized association between reading and joy.  
  • It's all about the content.  Each letter was crafted, tested, revised and tested again to be sure it meets our standards (measured by kid reactions!)

Magic Ingredient #2 - Snail Mail

Sending a letter to your child via snail mail not only builds anticipation and wonder, but also helps cultivate patience.

Magic Ingredient #3 - Pen Pals   

Children feel special and loved when a letter arrives especially for them.  The reciprocal nature of a pen pal correspondence helps build self confidence and responsibility.  With a pen pal, children build empathy, connection and can better relate to the content.  Plus, you get to hand pick the pen pal character that suits your young reader!

Magic Ingredient #4 - Personalization

Dear Izzy pen pal characters are based on careers that captivate the interests of the early reader age group.  Not bound to curriculum or rigid methodology, Dear Izzy is designed to help children make connections between the content and their own lives.  We use facts and the specific interests of your child to make the letters come to life.  For example, 6-year-old Oliver is obsessed with playing the card game Uno.  Imagine his delight when his pen pal talked about his chance to play Uno with some of his engineering friends!

Magic Ingredient #5 - Templates for Writing Back

The process of writing back not only helps early readers practice reading comprehension and writing skills, it reinforces mindsets of reciprocity, responsibility and relationship-building.  

  • Our templates for writing back are differentiated to make the process enjoyable for all children.  Sometimes they fill in the blank, circle an emoji, or draw a picture.
  • The process of writing back helps early readers practice practice reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Writing back also reinforces mindsets of reciprocity, responsibility and relationship-building.

Magic Ingredient #6 - Design for Joy First 

Our priority is to create joy first!  Once a child is entranced by the content - because it is high interest, personalized, even funny sometimes - the experience is ripe for literacy skill-building.  By creating a low-stakes reading experience (this isn't homework!), the pressure to perform is lifted, giving the early reader an opportunity to take risks in a positive environment.