Everyone CAN Be a Reader
Created October 15, 2012 by Linda Soehner
LocationHolland Centre, Ontario
Funding Level0k - $50k (< 2014)
Community SizeMore than 1,000
OverviewEVERYONE CAN BE A READER
OVERVIEW: Reading Rescue Ontario in Holland Centre, Ontario is a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing reading programming to children and adults who have Dyslexia or Learning Disabilities. The reading program, “Everyone’s a Reader” is based on current brain plasticity research and was designed by Linda Soehner. As an educator and parent of a child with a learning disability, Linda has developed a program to meet the needs of the people who struggle to learn to read. Her program is highly effective, combining low cost, user friendliness, and a tightly integrated, sequential structure. It can be administered by teaching professionals, family members, or volunteers. Students who have come to Linda for reading help have experienced a high level of success with the program and she is gratified that she has been able to enhance the future of so many children and their families. RATIONALE: Studies show that reading fluency by the age of 9 is the best predictor of academic success. For children with dyslexia (not officially recognized in Canada) and learning disabilities, learning to read requires much practice and intensive intervention. Youth with learning disabilities often disengage when a sense of inadequacy leads to a feeling of hopelessness. “I can’t do it so why try?” These students fall further and further behind as everything that they are required to do is based on the basic skill of reading. As the gap widens, self esteem decreases and many of these students become “at risk” and are not able to access regular programs at secondary or post secondary levels. The goal of “Everyone’s a Reader” is to increase the number of opportunities for students to succeed by providing early intervention and support for those who are struggling to learn to read. Schools are working hard to meet the needs of all students but for students with learning disabilities, regular programming may not be sufficient to allow them to become fluent readers. Training staff and volunteers and providing program support to schools and organizations are the keys to the success of this initiative.
What will change if a financial award is offered to READING RESCUE ONTARIO by The Aviva Community Fund?
- A fund will be established for families experiencing financial challenges who wish to receive programming from Reading Rescue Ontario. This will initially be at the program’s founding site in Holland Centre but with funding, more volunteers and professionals can be trained to administer the program and additional learning centres could be established in schools and other facilities throughout the province. The objective would be to eventually provide access to all children in Ontario who need the program.
- Program materials will be provided at reduced cost so that they are more widely available. Volunteer training costs for organizations and schools wishing to offer the program will be covered.
- The lives of children and their families will continue to experience positive changes. The “Everyone’s a Reader” program is becoming more widely recognized and is producing fantastic results. Many parents drive long distances to access Linda’s expertise at the Reading Rescue Ontario Centre.
- The gap in achievement between struggling students and their peers will be reduced leading to less discouragement, greater self esteem, reduced off-task behaviour and more engagement in school. This in turn will reduce the number of early leavers and youth at-risk.
- Members of the community will be encouraged to become reading coaches and mentors for struggling students. Community involvement is critical if the achievement levels of students with reading disabilities are to improve.
For more information please see our website: http://www.readingrescueontario.ca/
Thank you for supporting this worthy cause!