July 11, 2017
The International Dyslexia Association – Georgia Branch (IDA-GA) has successfully funded three separate training opportunities for 30 Forsyth County Public School teachers this summer. Parents and teachers of the Dyslexia Network of Forsyth initiated the program focused on reading instruction and reached out to IDA-GA for the funding.
The Orton-Gillingham Approach training is focused on understanding dyslexia, characteristics of the dyslexic learner, specific procedures for teaching these students primarily in reading and spelling, and administration of informal assessments.
Taught by the Dyslexia Resource Trust in partnership with The Schenck School, the training is free to teachers. Funds to provide this free training were raised entirely by the volunteer efforts of IDA-GA. Sponsorship and donations come from the organization’s Dyslexia Dash 5K Run/Walk held each year in October during Dyslexia Awareness Month and other fundraising efforts.
These 30-hour training courses attended by both elementary school special education, general classroom, and one learning coach educator provides reading instruction not only essential to struggling readers, but instruction beneficial for all young readers. The Orton-Gillingham Approach meets the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Reading established by the International Dyslexia Association.
According to Colleen Beguiristain and Tina McGinley of the Dyslexia Network of Forsyth, taking 30-70 hours of Orton-Gillingham training is grueling work yet teachers returned each day enthusiastic and excited to learn more.
“They are so appreciative of this opportunity. Many of them have been begging for this kind of training for a long time,” noted Beguiristain. “This training is a great example of what parents and teachers can accomplish together to improve education for all students.”
Teachers receiving this training have already been engaged for feedback and will be followed quarterly to determine how the instruction impacts student performance. They have been given the option for observations and formal feedback to ensure fidelity of the training.
Facts about Dyslexia
- Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that is neurological in origin.
- Approximately 15%-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability.
Of those who are students, 70-80% struggle with reading.
- Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
- Dyslexia affects males and females equally, as well as people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
- 74% of children who are poor readers in 3rd grade remain poor readers in the 9th grade and into adulthood.
International Dyslexia Association – Georgia (IDA-GA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to increase public awareness of dyslexia and to provide effective teaching approaches and related clinical educational intervention strategies for struggling readers. The organization is a resource and support system for parents, educators and people who are dyslexic. Many of its members are actively involved in the diagnosis and remediation of dyslexia. These members include educators, psychologists, physicians, individuals with dyslexia, and parents who have dealt with learning disability issues within local public and private schools. We facilitate the exploration of the causes and early identification of dyslexia and are committed to the responsible and wide dissemination of research-based knowledge. IDA-GA provides an information and referral hotline, community outreach activities, yearly conferences, teacher training workshops, e-newsletters, as well as teacher training scholarship opportunities.
About Dyslexia Network of Forsyth
Dyslexia Network of Forsyth is a non-profit comprised of parents and educators dedicated to improving outcomes for dyslexic students and struggling readers in and around Forsyth County. Information: www.dyslexiaforsyth.com.
About Dyslexia Resource Trust
Dyslexia Resource Trust (DRT) is a new nonprofit organization in partnership with The Schenck School. The DRT works with the school’s staff and leverages the school’s knowledge base and extensive experience to help teachers, students and parents in greater Atlanta metro. The DRT and The Schenck School are one of 16 training centers in North America certified by the Orton-Gillingham Academy. The DRT will also be working with schools to train members of their faculty in OG within Atlanta Public Schools and several independent schools in the 2017-18 school year.
Josie Calamari, Director of Outplacement for the Schenck School, conducted the Forsyth County training. She is a Fellow-in-Training within the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
For more information about Dyslexia Resource Trust, please visit dyslexiaresource.org, or contact Chris Pomar at 404-220-8325.