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Educators learn dyslexia strategies at Summer Training Institute

Published 1:38pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MADISON – Teachers, reading specialists and administrators are learning approaches for dyslexia at the Summer Training Institute.

The institute site is the Madison campus, 13902 Bradford Road, of Lindsay Lane Christian Academy in Athens. The Dyslexia Center, a special division of the academy, is presenting the institute.

Center director Cindy Hall of Madison said, “We’re educating classroom teachers about dyslexia and giving them strategies for helping dyslexic learners that are certain to be in their classrooms next fall”.

One in five children has dyslexia to some degree, Hall said, with a typical classroom of 25 students having five with dyslexia. She defines dyslexia as “extreme difficulty learning to read, spell or complete language tasks in one’s native language, despite at least average intelligence and adequate instruction.”

National trainer Janet Jones and local dyslexia expert Marcia Ramsey are conducting lectures and breakout groups for role playing. Participants are writing summaries of outside reading assignments.

Jones and Ramsay are using the Orton-Gillingham method, which applies multi-sensory (visual and auditory), kinesthetic and phonics-based study that best reaches dyslexic students.

Back in the classroom, this institute’s impact will be “huge,” Hall said. “Teachers who understand a dyslexic learner’s needs … can tweak lessons to include the learning style of dyslexic students and benefit non-dyslexic students, too.”

The class is full with educators from private and public schools in Tanner, Rainsville, Silverhill, Falkville, Madison, Athens, Moody, Toney and Huntsville. Most participants are paying their own expenses.

Madison businesses donating to the institute are Best Western-Plus, Woody Anderson Ford, Asbury Community Thrift Store and Publix in Village Shoppes of Madison, along with Smokey’s BBQ, Panda Express, Zaxby’s and Domino’s Pizza.

Hall appreciates the academy’s administration and school board for “stretching the school to reach past its own classrooms to help impact the classrooms of area schools,” she said. “As a private school, they could have easily kept the expertise to themselves.”

The academy’s main address is 1300 Lindsay Lane in Athens. For more information, visit lindsaylanechristianacademy.org/dyslexia-center.

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