The act of learning to read is one which is unnatural to the human brain, causing exponential stress for young learners, students acquiring a new language, or learning disabled. To alleviate the nidus which acquiring the ability to decipher literature may impose, continual research in learning to read has taken place. Research which has aimed to discover the best kept secrets, programs and strategies for helping early to emergent readers succeed. Within the literature review, the benefit of implementing phonemic awareness and phonics into early to emergent reading programs will be discovered. Including, how phonemic awareness and phonics arose in classrooms during the 1900’s and 1990 reading wars. The impact phonemic awareness and phonics has on long-term reading proficiency, and research-based strategies for reading intervention.