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REAP Orton-Gillingham Summer Training Dates Released

Teacher Application Deadline is March 2, 2015.

Dates for Summer Courses:

June 1-5:  Classroom Educator, Location TBD

June 8-12: Classroom Educator, The Swift School

June 15-19:  Associate (only available if you have already taken the Classroom Educator 30-hour Course)

June 22-26:  Classroom Educator, Location TBD

All dates are contingent on funding and demand.  July dates may be added.

Classroom Educator and Associate Level Fall-Spring course dates and locations should be available in March.

Click here to complete an application

Improving Reading Proficiency through public school teacher training and enrichment – 2015 Information for REAP course applicants

66% of 4th graders in Georgia are not reading proficiently.  32% of those students are not even reading at a basic level. (NAEP 2013)

Mission

Reading is Essential for All People (REAP) is working to improve that statistic.  We are dedicated to improving reading proficiency through public school teacher training and enrichment.  We provide teachers with specialized training that reinforces the foundations of reading.  These approaches are helpful for any child, in any classroom, and are especially critical for struggling readers.  The best way to positively impact reading proficiency in public school students is through their passionate and dedicated teachers.

Program

REAP funds Orton-Gillingham Methodology training for public school teachers.  This approach to reading instruction focuses on reading fundamentals. The theory combines multi-sensory techniques to develop phonemic awareness skills, spelling, writing and comprehension.  Our nationally recognized instructors are highly qualified and passionate about the students you teach every day.  Any public school teacher in the Metro Atlanta area can apply for our free professional development.

Teacher Selection

The teachers will be chosen to participate in the program based on experience, application detail, grade level, and colleague referrals. It is important to train teachers who will be an inspiration and mentor to those within their schools.  Our program participants, during and after training, will be part of an ongoing support group that will continue to meet and share ideas, implementations, and successes.

Training Options and Course Description for Orton-Gillingham

Dates for Summer Courses:

June 1-5:  Classroom Educator, Location TBD

June 8-12: Classroom Educator, The Swift School

June 15-19:  Associate Level, The Swift School (only available if you have already taken the Classroom Educator 30-hour Course)

June 22-26:  Classroom Educator, Location TBD

All dates are contingent on funding and demand.  July dates may be added.

Classroom Educator and Associate Level Fall-Spring course dates and locations should be available in March.

Classroom Educator Course:

The Classroom Educator training is a 30 hour course (12 sessions, twice monthly Oct. – April or one full week during the summer) with the option of a 50-hour practicum.

The Classroom Educator Level Course addresses:

•     Characteristics of Dyslexia related to typical development of reading and writing

•     The principles of the Orton-Gillingham Approach

•     History and structure of the English Language

•     How to teach decoding

•     Syllable types and syllabication

•     Strategies for reading comprehension and written expression

•     Teaching strategies and lesson planning for effective remediation

Associate Level Course:

The Associate Level training is a 70-hour course (1 night per week, Sept. – May or two full weeks during the summer) with the option of a 50-hour or 100-hour practicum.

The Associate Level Course addresses:

•     Dyslexia and related brain research

•     General history and structure of the English language

•     Phonological awareness

•     Sound/symbol relationships for reading and spelling

•     Six syllable types and seven ways to divide words into syllables

•     Anglo-Saxon, Latin and Greek word parts

•     Spelling rules and generalizations

•     “Learned” or non-phonetic words

•     Advanced decoding skills

•     Scope/sequence and lesson planning

•     Teaching strategies and development of teaching materials

 

Here is what the teachers we trained have to say:

“I feel like for the last 16 years of teaching literacy that I have needed the understandings of language and ways to tackle those struggling readers in a direct way that this training has provided for me.”

“I now have a better understanding that ALL students, not just struggling readers, need this piece to be successful readers AND writers.”

What was lacking from my reading lessons was the mechanics of the language.  This training has completed my reading puzzle!”

“I feel like this was the missing link between what I knew about reading instruction and what my struggling readers truly needed to be successful.”

” This training has strengthened my ability to diagnose what individual students are struggling with as readers and how I can help them overcome that gap.”

“All teachers deserve to know about this approach.  Without it, many students will slip through the cracks or move up the grades without the appropriate reading assistance to be successful readers.”

“I have been blown away by the effectiveness of this approach.”

“Theses strategies can be implemented to push students who are high achievers as well as giving those struggling readers the support to become successful.”

If you are a public school teacher and are interested in applying for the course, click here for the application.

 

How to Help My Struggling Reader: The Orton-Gillingham Approach

How to Help My Struggling Reader:

The Orton-Gillingham Approach

By:  Jennifer McCullough M.S. CCC-SLP

Late one night, I found my 9-year old daughter hiding under her covers with a flashlight reading “one last chapter”. Though I scolded her to turn her light off and go to bed, I went away smiling. She has what I call the “reading bug” and I count my lucky stars.  Throughout my career most of my clients have had to battle to be able to read. As a result, very rarely do these children read because it is fun. These struggles happen way too often.

In fact, reading difficulties are the most common cause of academic failure and underachievement.  According to the International Dyslexia Association, between 15-20% of young students suffer from reading and language processing weaknesses and, unless those weaknesses are recognized early and successfully treated, they are headed for academic failure. Another 20-30% are at risk for inadequate reading and writing development, depending on how well, and how, they are taught. Ironically, due to specific criteria, most of these children are ineligible for special education services and are dependent on the instruction given by their classroom teacher or services outside the school.

How can we help? First, having a better understanding of how typical students learn to read is key, as well as an idea of what might be going wrong for struggling readers. Many language processes must be coordinated to allow for fluent reading. Researchers have discovered that auditory processing (the ability to process what you hear), plays a critical role in learning to read, write and spell.  In fact, one area of auditory processing, termed phonological processing, is clearly implicated as the most common cause of reading disabilities or dyslexia.  Phonological processing is the ability to detect and discriminate differences in phonemes or speech sounds. When kindergarten children are given phonological processing tasks, their performance is remarkably predictive of how well they will read several years later.

Three kinds of phonological processing appear to be most important when learning to read: phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming. Phonological awareness is the ability to access and manipulate the sound structure of language.  Examples are: knowing the sounds that letters make or your ability to rhyme two similar words. Phonological memory is your ability to temporarily store information in working or short-term memory. Rapid naming is the ability to quickly name numbers, letters, colors, or objects. Weakness in rapid naming affects fluency or speed of mental processing.

Basically for someone to read “cat” for the first time, they have to recognize the letters, remember the sound the letter makes, hold those sounds in short-term and working memory and, finally, blend the sounds rapidly together to read the word.

What does all of this mean? All students need to learn phonics! Children that have trouble attending, or with memory or with being able to rapidly name objects, letters or numbers have many roadblocks to becoming successful readers.  It’s even more important for this group to have direct phonics instruction.  Do you know what kids without these issues do when they are not directly taught phonics? They teach it to themselves. They need to do this in order to be able to decode words they have never seen and cannot guess based on pictures and context.  These students may learn to read but they are not taught spelling rules, and generalizations and are often poor spellers.

In addition, it is vital that we identify children who may have difficulties with memory, naming, and phonological awareness skills as early as possible. Training these children to learn compensatory strategies to help improve these skills will directly improve their capability to learn to read. Professionals such as speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are uniquely trained how to teach these strategies. Some compensatory memory strategies might include teaching rehearsal (i.e. repeating back specific items) and visualizing (i.e. making a mental picture). Playing the “I Spy” game can help with rapid naming difficulties by giving the kids a method of describing words they may find difficult to retrieve. Reading rhyming books, singing rhyming songs and playing around with sounds in words are examples of activities that can encourage phonological awareness skills to develop.

What’s the best way to teach phonics?  Back in the 1930s a neurologist (Samuel Orton) came together with an educator and psychologist (Anna Gillingham) and created an intensive, sequential phonics-based system called The Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction. This theory is based on neuroscience research that shows if children are taught to read using all four pathways with which we learn – visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic – they achieve more success.

Using this multi-sensory approach can help all students, those that have no reading roadblocks mentioned above. However, it is imperative that the “at risk” children are taught this way because they can receive the information through all of the neurological pathways that is best for them to learn. For example, if a child is having trouble remembering “c” says “k”, then pairing the letter “c” with a visually appealing picture (visual pathway) or tracing the letter in the sand as they say the sound (tactile pathway) may work better than only saying the sound (kinesthetic and auditory pathways).

There are many programs based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.  It is not a “pre-packaged” program that can be directly purchased.  Properly providing this type of instruction requires intensive and costly training.  Atlanta is lucky to have a great program that offers training to teachers, parents and professionals at a local, well renowned, private institution called The Schenck School, a private school for students with dyslexia. Here in Decatur, a foundation has been created to help fund tuition for local teachers interested in taking this course. This foundation is called “REAP”or “Reading is Essential for All People”. 

Read Between the Lines

Combine a love of art with a love of reading

In recognition of National Dyslexia Month, the respected art gallery R Alexander Fine Art is producing  an exhibition entitled “Reading Between the Lines”.  The exhibition dates are October 4-November 7, with a reception on October 17, 6:30-10PM.  The group of featured artists’ work emphasize conceptualism as a visual language.

All sales from the exhibition will benefit a collaboration between REAP and The Schenck School to train public school teachers in the foundations of reading instruction.

Bring a friend!  The event is free and open to all who would like to attend.  Click here for more information.

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Michelle Nunn steps up with a $1000 donation to REAP and challenges others to join her!

Nunn with Jeremy and JenA huge thanks to Senatorial candidate Michelle Nunn for taking the time to meet with us last week.  Michelle wanted to learn more about the challenges small businesses like CertaPro Painters face and how we are working to positively impact Georgia public school students through Reading is Essential for All People (REAP).

Michelle has a dyslexic child and recognizes the need for additional professional development in the foundations of reading for our public school teachers.  Michelle challenges others to donate to improve the odds for struggling readers in GA.  Michelle donated $1000 to REAP in support of a struggling student.  That $1000 will provide 100 hours of critical intervention for a student who would not otherwise have access to this type of remediation.

Michelle Nunn has a successful and inspiring background in the non-profit world and we appreciate her desire to understand our small business and what we need from Washington as well as offering wonderful advice on growing our non-profit to help public school students across Georgia.

Thank you for your time Michelle!

Jeremy’s Swim, Bike, Run for REAP training update August 1, 2014

This week’s training log…

Venetian 1 Venetian 3 Venetian 4 Venetian 6 Venetian 7 Venetian

Saturday, 7/26/14

6 mile run. Nice, fast start to the run. Realized 2 miles in that my “Map My Run” app wasn’t running. No bragging rights for sub-7-minute miles if you can’t show proof! Hmph.

Sunday, 7/27/14

44 mile bike ride with buddies from the neighborhood. An appropriate amount of praise was received for my new bike, helmet, and other stuff. Bob criticized my biking jersey for being a boxy “club” jersey instead of the more svelte “racing” jersey. Who knew? Great ride – I was able to keep up with the pack and sometimes lead. Pretty fatigued at the end, but not totally destroyed as I was after the prior weekend’s 52 miler.

After the 44 mile bike ride I changed into running gear and did a 2 mile run to help my body learn how to handle the transition from bike to road running.

Monday, 7/28/14            

Drove to the Venetian Pools for an early morning 6AM swim. It’s great slipping into the water when it’s still dark outside.

Tuesday, 7/29/14            

Up at 5:00AM. At Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp by 5:30AM. This sort of thing is not on most triathlon training plans, but I swear it makes me a faster runner. I dropped 30 lbs last year doing this sort of thing, so that’s not bad, right?

Wednesday, 7/30/14

Up at 5:10AM. Gear up with bike jersey, tri-shorts(not quite swim-suit, not quite biking shorts – a little of both), bike shoes, helmet. Toss some goggles and swim cap in my jersey pockets. The 3 mile ride to the pool goes quickly. Fortunately, there’s little traffic on the roads at this time as I still can’t bring myself to buy more gear in the form of bike lights. At the pool it’s just me, one woman in the middle swim lane, and two teenagers who run the place. See pictures below. The reward of the early morning swim comes from watching the scenery change as the sun comes up. At first it’s dark, then a gradual twilight blooms into a blue sky morning. It gives you the sense of bringing on the dawn through your efforts in the pool. I swim a little over a mile with some sprints thrown in for good measure, then bike back home. I’m loving this workout and hate that summer will come to a close in the not-too-distant future.

See Jeremy’s full story here.

Sponsor a mile!

Sponsor a mile!

Shop at Kroger and earn money for Reading is Essential for All People!

Kroger Community Rewards Program

Now you can buy your groceries and support Reading is Essential for All People at the same time!

Register your Kroger Plus card at:  (If you don’t have a card you can pick one up at any Kroger store register or service desk)

www.krogercommunityrewards.com

Click Sign In or Register.

Have your Kroger Plus Card handy because you will need to enter the number.

Sign up for your Kroger Rewards Account by entering your zip code, your favorite store, your email address, password, and agreeing to terms and conditions.

Next, check your email; you will click the link in the body of the email and use your email address and password to proceed to the next step.

Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards and input your card number.

Update or confirm your information.

Enter NPO# 21644 and select Reading is Essential for All People and click on confirm.

You will see Reading is Essential for All People listed on the right side of your information page.

Use your Kroger Rewards Card when shopping for all of your groceries and a portion of your purchase will be automatically donated to REAP!

 

Public School Teachers and Orton-Gillingham

Recently our first round of public school teachers completed phase one of their Orton-Gillingham training with REAP.  Here are just a few of the quotes that came from the surveys they filled out after the course.

  • “I feel like for the last 16 years of teaching literacy that I have needed the understandings of language and ways to tackle those struggling readers in a direct way that OG has provided for me.”
  • “It has impacted my literacy instruction in a phenomenal way where I could immediately start practicing what I learned and see the growth in my struggling readers within weeks.  The OG approach provides teachers with multi-sensory lessons that are fun to teach as well!”
  • “I now have a better understanding that ALL students, not just struggling readers, need this piece to be successful readers AND writers.”
  • “As a former reading recovery teacher, my passion is struggling readers.  It has helped me see all of the components of reading.  What was lacking from my reading lessons was the mechanics of the language.  OG has completed my reading puzzle!”
  • “I feel like OG was the missing link between what I knew about reading instruction/reading workshop and what my struggling readers truly needed to be successful.”
  • “The knowledge I have gained from my OG training has not only made my whole group phonics time more effective, but I also use the strategies I’ve learned during small group work and guided reading.  This training has also strengthened my ability to diagnose what individual students are struggling with as readers and how I can help them overcome that gap.”
  • “All teachers deserve to know about the OG approach.  Without it, many students will slip through the cracks or move up the grades without the appropriate reading assistance to be successful readers.”
  • “I’ve already begun to implement some of the things I’ve learned in my own classroom and have been blown away by the effectiveness of the OG approach.”
  • “This course is a resource that any teacher could use.  The strategies can be implemented to push students who are high achievers as well as giving those struggling readers the support to become successful.”
  • “Every parent deserves to have a teacher who can meet their individual child’s reading needs.  OG gives teachers the tools to support students on every level and help move them forward in literacy.”
  • “Thank you for this amazing opportunity.  I am forever grateful!”

Dyslexia as a Language-Based Learning Disability: Core Problems and Effective Interventions

The Atlanta Speech School was kind enough to post the video from Dr. Joseph Torgesen’s recent presentation.

Click here to view the presentation!

Here is a quick description from the Atlanta Speech School:

Research over the past 30 years has produced significant discoveries about the nature of dyslexia and how it may be effectively treated. Dr. Torgesen will describe the most important current ideas about the causes of dyslexia in young children, and will also describe what is currently known about effective instructional interventions.

Dr. Torgesen is the Robert M. Gagne Professor of Psychology and Education (emeritus) at Florida State University and is the Founder and Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research. He is an internationally recognized expert in learning disabilities, reading, remedial interventions and teacher professional development . He has been conducting research with children who have learning problems for over 30 years, and is the author of over 180 articles, book chapters, books and tests related to reading and learning disabilities.