The VITAL YEARS Early English Literacy Programme was born out of a mother’s love for her children. By 1974, English Masters graduate Lam Kam Foong had taught every stage from pre-primary to university. A passionate scholar of language and linguistics, she became increasingly concerned about the literacy problems that she confronted on a daily basis. She was convinced that reading was never meant to be hard, that it had to be a natural process in a child’s development. A parent already, she promised herself that her children would be bonded to books from an early age.
Over the next fourteen years, Foong perfected an effortless, fail-safe method of teaching children how to read. Using this philosophy, her own son read at the age of four, and her younger daughter at two and a half.
Foong’s vision of making every child a literate child drove her to implement her programme amongst underprivileged kids in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Cambodia. It proved time and time again to be successful with not only the very young, but with Downs Syndrome, dyslexic, autistic and hyperactive learners as well. Now living in Western Australia and fulfilling multiple roles as a teacher, consultant and reading specialist, Foong decided to return to her roots and make the VITAL YEARS Early English Literacy Programme accessible to all. Our first VITAL YEARS centre was opened on April 1 1996, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. From 1996 to 1999, three more were established before we launched our franchise business.
With a network that spans sixty one branches throughout Malaysia in 2015, Foong’s vision is closer to being realised today than ever before. It just goes to show what we already knew – that no feat is too great for a loving mum!