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Serving Students with Dyslexia: A Summer Camp is Born

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I will never forget the moment when I walked into the meeting at my 1st graders’ school and I was told he might have struggles with reading.  I was confused, I was scared, and I had no idea what to do. I made so many mistakes along the way, not finding the instruction and support that he needed, that I needed. He struggled.  I struggled. From that point, I vowed to do whatever it took to become highly educated in all things reading and dyslexia. Fast-forward 20 years. Through countless trainings, seminars, conferences, working with kids, working with families, and so on, I now know what it takes to teach any kid to read including those with dyslexia. I talk to parents daily whose children struggle with reading and in many cases fail.  My heart hurts for these families and it has guided my strong passion for change.

What I have learned is that kids need high-quality reading instruction. My preference is quality Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory instruction. That is why I have collaborated with Orton-Gillingham fellow and master trainer Ron Yoshimoto to create our company Orton Gillingham International. Our company trains teachers (and parents too) in the Yoshimoto OG method, giving them the tools to teach kids how to read. It works.  Teachers love it, kids love it, and as I said before, it works.  

In addition to the teacher training business, I knew that I needed to serve kids directly.  One of the few interventions that worked for my son was when he spent two summers at Durango Mountain Camp.  The O-G he received worked for him – his reading improved greatly.  Sadly, by this time, he was leaving middle school and his challenges had already affected his self-esteem and desire to read.  That said my three years at Durango as a tutor taught me more than I could ever have imagined. I not only learned how to help the kids, but I also saw firsthand how the kids reacted. They grew, gained confidence, and began to look at reading in a positive light.

The solution was clear to me.  It was time for the Super Star Summer Camp to be born in Denver. We could provide quality intensive O-G instruction with well-trained, compassionate teachers. The kind of teacher that will go to the wall for the kids. The kind of teacher who lights up when the kids arrive. We support the instruction with a time to review and practice, known as rehearsal hall. We support this with adults and teens who compassionately work with our students in oral reading, along with practicing and playing “games” that reinforce the skills they will need to succeed. We also mix in a math/writing block to encourage and develop future writers and mathematicians. Overall, we have a solid mix of academics so students of all ages and abilities find success.

We invite students entering kindergarten through middle school to join us at Super Star Summer Camp. We offer special programming for our 8th graders, assisting them in their journey into high school, but also by having them work with the younger students to build future leaders in the community. Please be in touch if we can provide you with more information or support around camp, literacy, or dyslexia.  Please visit us at www.everychildreading.org

Ellen Steinberg, Founder and Director of Every Child Reading; Co-Director of Orton Gillingham International

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