The Orton-Gillingham Approach

Public school teachers and Orton-Gillingham

Reading is Essential for All People believes change begins with the dedicated public school teachers that work with our children every day. We provide Orton-Gillingham (OG) training to these public school teachers. This intensive training method is scientifically proven to improve reading success in all readers–especially those who struggle. The OG approach includes essential curricular content and instructional practices drawn from a body of time-tested knowledge and practice that has been validated over the past 70 years. The OG approach is founded on scientifically based evidence about three core issues:

  1. How humans learn to read and write;
  2. Why a significant number have difficulty in doing so;
  3. Which instructional practices are best suited for teaching such persons to read and write.

Not replacing current curriculum, just integrating a new approach

The training will not replace current curriculum; it is an approach intended to be integrated and used as a supplement to what the school system and teacher are already using. Part of the training will include best practices of incorporating OG into the public school classroom. The training opportunities are for both the general classroom teachers and special education teachers.

Orton-Gillingham course description

The OG program advances the understanding of specific procedures of the OG Approach and the underlying principles in teaching reading, spelling, and vocabulary.  Teachers learn how to teach struggling readers to unlock the code of reading and spelling.

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

This class is held once a week from September to May or two weeks during the summer break. Two week summer classes will be added in 2015.

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

Click here for the application.

Connecting the Learning Workshops:

These hands-on workshops connect the coursework to the classroom. Teachers having completed at least 30 hours of training are eligible for the workshop. Several dates are available each year.

Practical Guidance:

REAP realizes that the learning does not stop once you are back in the classroom. If anything continuing professional development is what solidifies the knowledge learned throughout the course. Our practical guidance offerings are in the pilot stages and include Modeling, Shoulder-to-Should coaching, Observations and Feedback and mini learning sessions individualized for the schools we work with and their specific student needs. The program is geared toward schools that have at least 5 trained teachers. These teachers must have at least 30 hours of multi-sensory, systematic, direct phonics instruction coursework. If comparable, the coursework does not need to come from REAP. Find out more about this program for your school by emailing your interest to:

Support and best practices

Teachers who participate in this OG training program will also become part of a group that can share best practices with students and other teachers, and will be given opportunities for the next level of training when it becomes available.

Expert Instruction

Orton-Gillingham Academy Fellows provide REAP’s teacher training. Our nationally recognized instructors include Rosalie Davis from The Schenck School, Norma Jean McHugh, and Joan Gerken from The Swift School.  Our workshops and practical guidance offerings are lead by Literacy Leaders with a deep understanding of practicing multi-sensory, systematic, direct phonics instruction in the public school classroom.

Teachers’ criteria

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—both during and after training—will be part of an ongoing support group that will continue to meet and share ideas, implementations, and successes.

REAP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve reading proficiency in today’s public school students.  We believe the most valuable resource is the public school teacher. All the teachers are accepted into our program based on the funds we are able to raise throughout the year.  Please share our mission with your friends, family, and colleagues. Together we can make a difference!

Click here for the 2015 Orton-Gillingham Approach teacher training application