The goal of any reputable reading approach is to have students reading authentic material within the shortest time frame. However, since reading, (unlike speech), is not hard-wired into the brain, there are certain foundational pre-reading skills the child must learn. Examples would include how to hold the book, understanding that we read from left to right, top to bottom, and being made aware of letter, word and sentence boundaries. One very obvious critical sub-skill is mastering the sound-letter correspondences labelled as the code. The need for the code arises because of the structure and history of English which has given us twentysix alphabetic characters and between forty and forty-four sounds. We are all familiar with the alphabetic characters, but the forty or so sounds are a different matter. We need to pre-teach these correspondences along with blending. Failure to teach decoding and blending becomes a stumbling block that trips up many students and sends them stumbling down to the dungeon of illiteracy. The phase of acquiring these subskills is sometimes loosely referred to as ‘learning to read’ in contrast to ‘reading to learn’.