October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and the nonprofit, PC Reads continues its work to educate, advocate and support struggling readers and their teachers. PC Reads is bringing a renown dyslexia program developer and speaker to help kick off the month of events. Carolyn Murray has this.
Alissa Aten is one of the founders of PC Reads. She said the school district has introduced a new phonics program that helps dyslexic kids learn to read.
“The district has a reading curriculum and Wilson Fundations is just a piece of it that really hits the phonics and phonemic awareness. It’s 30 minutes of instruction a day. So, the teachers are still working on building comprehension and vocabulary. You know there’s still work on a full English language arts curriculum that includes writing and spelling. It’s more comprehensive than that. The nice thing is that Wilson Fundations is shown to benefit all students. So even though some kids may need different things, kids may come into school already knowing how to read, this program should benefit all students and make all improve their reading, writing and spelling.”
Dean Braggonier is a self-proclaimed Executive Dyslexic of an organization he started called Noticeability. His objective is to showcase the potential of people with dyslexia. Aten said his curriculum shows how to harness the abilities of kids who struggle with the condition. She said half of juvenile delinquents are dyslexic.
“Forty percent of self-made millionaires are dyslexic. Fifty percent of NASA employees are dyslexic. You know, 35 percent of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. How do we capture these kids when they’re still in school and still young? Let them understand their strengths and build on their strengths so they can become those creative, successful, competent individuals."
Aten said Dyslexia is a spectrum disorder and affects approximately 80 percent of kids who are struggling to read.
“Some kids may be more profoundly affected by dyslexia than others. It also kind of depends on the make-up of that child. You know, is their executive functioning strong? Do they have a strong working memory? So, there’s a lot that goes into learning and so dyslexia is a piece of that. But, that is the main reading disorder.”
PC Reads’, Kristi Marsh said Braggonier’s philosophy is to notice the abilities, not the inabilities of dyslexic students. His program trains teachers in his technique. The program is called the Golden Age of Dyslexia and will be at the Park City High School Lecture Hall at 6:30 on Monday.
Aten said Governor Herbert declared October Dyslexia Awareness month for the 6th year in a row. PC Reads has activities, events and training running through the month. Go to Parkcityreads.org for details.