Education is my passion! I graduated with a BS in Elementary Education and taught in an Elementary School in Portsmouth, Ohio. But it didn't take long before I began wondering why some students learn to read with ease, while others struggle to sound out the smallest of words. Unfortunately, the answer was not revealed to me for many years.
I first learned about systematic, structured literacy eight years ago when my Goddaughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. Before I started tutoring her, she scored below the 1st percentile in reading as a second grader. But within seven months of having Barton instruction two hours a week, she tested in the 50th percentile. I was intrigued! My second student was 10 years old and could only read five pre-primer words. I knew she was intelligent and very articulate but could not break the reading code. For two months we worked hard and it seemed we weren’t making much progress. But at month three, she had a breakthrough! The student’s mother called me crying and said her daughter read to her for the very first time. I was hooked! As a result, I have been blessed to be able to help children learn to read and write for the last seven years using an Orton-Gillingham based system.
I am committed to learning as much as I can so that I help more and more students. I have been trained in the Barton Reading & Spelling System, the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE), and the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE). I went back to school and now have over 15 hours of graduate work relating to phonemic awareness and teaching students of other languages. Currently, I am in the process of writing a computer program and an app for students to use as reading and spelling practice for the skills they have learned. And in the community, I deliver dyslexia simulations and informational meetings, as well as providing school districts with professional development.
Public awareness is needed to motivate change in the way we educate our teachers and students. Dyslexia is not an isolated problem. It affects 15-20% of the population and is the most common reason students struggle with reading, spelling and writing. It must be addressed in our schools and society. The best way to remediate dyslexia is to intervene early with a structured multi-sensory, explicit program. Therefore, I am working at the state level to initiate dyslexia legislation, that will mandate schools to screen kindergarten students for dyslexia.