Turning a Toy Into a Reading Tool

The Education Development Center, in Newton, Mass., has received $1.2-million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a two-year project to create hand-held games for the Nintendo DSi to help struggling middle-school readers.

Shelley Pasnik, director of the charity’s Center for Children and Technology, says that almost 70 percent of children entering the seventh grade read below grade level. The new games, she says, will emphasize vocabulary words that are important for