Helping Students Who Struggle with Reading to Succeed!
To offer struggling readers, particularly those with dyslexia, a no-cost after school program which will enable them to experience significant progress in reading, spelling, and written expression, and will help re-establish their often lost self-respect;
To offer information, resources, and advocacy for dyslexia and related reading disabilities to parents, students, and the community at large;
To continue to offer teacher training in the principles of Alphabetic Phonics, in order for the teacher base of the Center to grow. This will allow more students to be served and allow principles of multisensory structured language education to be expanded into many teachers’ own classrooms.
A Different Way In Reading Center was opened in September, 2008, by four women trained in Alphabetic Phonics (AP), a multisensory structured language education program proven successful in teaching dyslexic students and struggling readers literacy skills. This initiative is our response to a stark need: many schools do not have the resources to serve the needs of dyslexic students. We knew there were many students in our community -- New York State’s Capital District -- who were struggling each day with school, simply because they had not learned how to read, to spell correctly, and to write. After one newspaper article and a general informational meeting held at the Schenectady Library, we enrolled 25 students and started a waiting list of four.
Ours is mainly an after-school program, with most students coming three times per week for one hour each session. The program takes two to three years, but since each student is different and has different needs, some will take longer to complete it. A lesson includes the main areas cited as essential by the National Reading Panel: phonics, fluency, phonemic awareness, vocabulary and comprehension. Each lesson includes alphabet, review of all sound decks, new learning, reading practice, spelling practice, comprehension and composition. AP is characterized by direct, explicit teaching that is cumulative, sequential, and discovery-oriented.
We anticipate that each student, after completion of the program, will have significantly increased her/his reading ability, so that each will be more successful in school and attain at least a high school diploma. (Several students previous to the founding of our Center successfully attended college.) We also know that, as students gain confidence, their attitudes about their own intelligence and ability change, sometimes dramatically. They have a more positive outlook about school, learning, and their futures.
Spread the Word
If you know of anyone who could benefit from the Center's expertise and empathy, please refer him or her. Please spread the word that a very special place exists that is a resource for those who struggle with reading, writing and spelling skills.
The Center always welcomes visitors - college students, student teachers, teachers, Special Education teachers, parents, psychologists, or anyone who would like to see a lesson and view the methods used to teach the students.