Once again it is October Dyslexia Awareness Month, a time for communities across the U.S. – and even the globe to focus some attention on the difference of instructional needs for those with dyslexia. There are only 4 states without a dyslexia-specific law, and even there some legislation was pending as of March 2020. They are: Hawaii, South Dakota, Idaho, and Vermont. There has been a concerted effort over the past 10 years to bring awareness and to implement change when it comes to educating teachers in training at our universities and awareness to those already working in our schools as to how the science of reading really does inform instruction and intervention.
Sometimes you know that a meeting is just meant to be. When you have a passion for helping students read and write. When you are looking for just the right reading materials for struggling readers. When you have a drive to find the “Just Right” text that they can read. When you want to share that motivating drive to get kids reading and you find someone else that shares that passion.
That is how I feel about meeting author Yasmin John-Thorpe last November in Green Valley, Arizona.
Meet Nicole & Edward Peters!
Nicole has been a professional Pastry Chef for 13 years, and is very passionate about her work. She has worked in a wide range of establishments from a patisserie to restaurants, from a chocolaterie to catering, and from a boulangerie to an Asian-inspired American bakery. She has learned and grown along the way as a pastry chef and leader.
Nine years ago she was blessed to find out that she was going to have a baby boy; she has been single from the time of his birth.
Because children with dyslexia are not at the same level of literacy as their peers, we must approach some literacy aspects differently. I’ve often heard and read teachers comments about how to increase reading skills. Generally, the comment is, “Read more.” While reading more will develop additional literacy skills for the average reader, most dyslexic students cannot decode the words they are being tasked to read. If they are reading, generally they are guessing at unknown words. Reading more, incorrectly, is not going to create a more apt reader.
As you can see from the NEA Read Across America video, Bella’s Story, it is important to develop a love of learning at an early age. Our schools work hard to develop this interest…and have some fun while doing so!
As a classroom teacher, I also loved helping my students develop a love of learning. I too celebrated literacy in a variety of ways, for a variety of learners. And then, I learned about dyslexia. I learned that most classrooms do not support the dyslexic learner in the way they really need to be supported to foster and develop that love of reading. So, I chose to do something different!