Offering training through the Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota, the recently formed Winona Dyslexia Group (WDG) is on a mission to educate and promote awareness of the learning disability within the area. Funded by the Mark R. Pryor Foundation, the group offers a training program for any qualified individual who wishes to be educated in the basics of working with children with Dyslexia.
“Some children might be dealing with low self esteem and we’re here to help them overcome some of those hurdles and help students turn the ‘I can’t’ attitude into ‘I can’,” WDG Media Marketing Coordinator Jane Bremer said.
One in five students today has a language-based learning disability, with Dyslexia being the most common. But studies have shown if the issue is addressed early in school, nearly 75 percent of students can be helped to overcome these difficulties.
Partnering with the Reading Center of Rochester, the WDG group is spearheading a new effort to involve more people in the area with tutoring opportunities. Offing a basic training course called How to Teach Reading, the course will use the Orton-Gillingham teaching approach. Designed from years of scientific research, the approach is focused on the individual learning needs of each student. WGD is looking for individuals with experience working with young children with disabilities to participate in the training course.
The training course will teach individuals how to work with children in grades first through third. It will outline the structure of the English language and teach the participants how to create lesson plans and effectively teach the children.
“Our goal is to see the students be able to adapt to their surroundings and have a better understanding of how to read,” Bremer said. “I think we often take for granted what we’re able to easily do and we want to help the students understand how to decode what they are seeing.”
Children interested in the program will be able to receive tutoring at no charge. Tutoring sessions will be held this summer at Bluffview Montessori School and Ridgeway Community School. Tutoring will continue throughout the school year.
“We are looking for patient, compassionate, caring professionals because those attitudes can make all the difference,” Bremer said. “We are helping them each find their special talents.”
Qualified applicants will pay a $100 nonrefundable preregistration fee to secure a spot in the course, but the WDG will waive the $1,280 fee. Last day to register for the course is July 3. The training will be July 12 through August 2 at the University Center Rochester in the Heintz Center.
For more information about the group or training courses, contact Jane Bremer at 507-458-6394, the Reading Center of Rochester at 507-288-5271 or visit the website.
Signs of Dyslexia
Appears to be highly intelligent but unable to write, read or spell at grade level
Difficulty with accurate and/or fluent word recognition
Confusion with letters, numbers, words, and sequences
Transposing or inversion of letters
Low self esteem and becomes easily frustrated with schoolwork
Difficulty remembering facts
Heavily relying on memorization without understanding
– Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota