Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. children cannot read on grade level*. For many of them, reading is a laborious and frustrating experience that causes them to feel bad about themselves. It is little wonder they do not voluntarily visit libraries.

We want to help you make your library significantly more helpful to these kids. 


Imagine that underneath the visible surface of every online word there lies a “safety net”. Students never even see it unless they stumble on a word. But, if they do stumble, it immediately becomes visible and ready to help with them with anything they might need to be able to read and understand the word and return to the flow of their reading and learning.

If they don’t recognize the word, they can instantly engage an interactive “sounding-out” that teaches them how the letters they see spell the sounds that they hear


If they don’t know what word means because it’s not in their language they can have it translated.
If they can recognize the word but don’t know what it means, they have a word-web library of definitions, synonyms, roots and other references. 
In other words, a safety net that can connect any learner with any resource they need to read and understand any unfamiliar online word they encounter in your library. 




We call this the “Online Learning Safety Net” or OLSN for short.  Students can learn to use it on their own in just minutes. By following a few simple steps, it improves their reading by helping them learn to recognize and understand any unfamiliar word they encounter.  (Try it now, click on any word in the paragraphs of this page and keep clicking through the hints until you hear the word sounded-out)


The Online Learning Safety Net, OLSN, is NOT a complicated human-led or computer-based ‘course’ of reading instruction. Instead, OLSN turns every single word, on virtually every page of the internet, into its own reading tutor and reference support system. Rather than learners having to remember and apply abstract rules to work-out unfamiliar words, OLSN provides visible and audible pronunciation cues, animated sound-outs, definitions, synonyms, and multiple translations – and it does so instantly on-demand, during the real-time flow of reading. Rather than learners having to risk the public embarrassment of asking others for help, OLSN is private. 

The only thing learners need to learn to do is to click or touch every word they don’t know and keep clicking it until they do. By this simple process, decoding, vocabulary, and background knowledge are compensated for through the very same process through which they are being highly efficiently facilitated.  By this simple process, each unknown word becomes a confidence imbuing environment for improving reading. It’s inevitably the way of the future.

OLSN is a free system provided by Learning Stewards, a 501c3 non-profit organization. OLSN is built into hundreds of free stories, lessons, and eBooks available in the Magic Ladder Library. 

OLSN can be easily added to Google’s Chrome browser to make virtually every page on the internet provide OLSN support.

OLSN can be easily added to websites to provide all visiting browsers with OLSN support.

Because Learning Stewards is a non-profit organization, OLSN is free for personal, family, and public school use and is available for many other uses for a modest cost plus license fee. 

If you’d like to receive more information about OLSN, please click here.


You can find out more about the Magic Ladder by visiting these pages:

Magic Ladder Stewards Page   –   About the Magic Ladder


Please try these tools and experience for yourself how easy they are to use, and how powerfully they address the needs of so many children and adults. They are ad-free and spyware-free. Please use them to help adults and children better benefit from your library while they improve their school and life futures!

Together we have a unique and historic opportunity to expand the relevancy and utility of libraries, while helping a great number of children and adults improve their lives.

We are here to support you.  If we can be of any assistance in getting your library started using OLSN, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please share these resources with your friends and colleagues!

* this is nothing new, it’s a trend that goes back as far as we have good data: