(Updated, 2:50 p.m.) A new, free literacy program has come to Drew Elementary School thanks to the local non-profit Sliding Doors, Virginia Tech, and the local NAACP branch.
The Dyslexic Edge Academy launched this week with 11 first graders at Drew Elementary in Green Valley. The goal is to help those students who struggle with reading by focusing on their strengths.
“People with dyslexia tend to gravitate to and be very good in STEM fields; science, technology, engineering and math,” Krista Gauthier, executive director of Merrifield-based Sliding Doors, tells ARLnow.”What we want to do is not only make sure that kids receive the evidence-based instruction that they need, but also play on their strengths. To us, confidence is as important as reading.”
The students meet with instructors after school in a group setting twice a week for 90 minutes. Half of the session is spent with one-on-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach, which breaks down reading and spelling using multisensory skills like sounds and hand motions. The other half of the session is spent on STEM-related projects.
“The STEM activities include everything from kitchen chemistry to rocketry to robotics to coding,” says Gauthier.
That could mean making slime, building model rockets, or operating an underwater robot, she says. It’s hoped that field trips to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Smithsonian could be part of the curriculum in the future as well.
While the program is starting with 11 students, the expectation is that it will have 20 students by early next year. The pilot program will run until at least May 2023.
About 20% of the population has some form of dyslexia, according to statistics from the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. Yet, many school systems haven’t adapted to help these students and private tutoring can be prohibitively expensive, explains Symone Walker, co-chair of the Arlington Branch NAACP Education Committee.
She believes this is a big reason why there’s such an opportunity gap at some Arlington schools, including Drew Elementary.
“We really wanted to target a population that has been disproportionately impacted by the achievement gap,” says Walker. “We’re very familiar with how Drew has been historically passed over, looked over in the community, and we wanted to give back where we saw the greatest need.”
Both Walker and Gauthier say that the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist in county schools have a lot to do with reading scores and how schools are teaching literacy.
The Dyslexic Edge Academy will use the multisensory Orton-Gillingham approach to teach reading, as opposed to the balanced literacy approach that’s currently being taught in Arlington public schools.
“When we talk about multisensory, we’re talking about big motions,” says Gauthier. “We actually use something called ‘skywriting,’ which is as the child is actually forming the letter in the air… they’re actually saying the letter, repeating the letter, attaching the sound to the letter.”
What’s more, by bringing cool STEM-related projects into the learning, it helps students gain confidence.
“They really begin to associate something they struggle with, with something they love,” says Gauthier. “It really actually plays into them wanting to read as well.”
As Walker points out, a lot of NASA employees have some form of dyslexia. In fact, that includes more than half of NASA employees, according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.
“We want to produce more Arlingtonians who work for NASA,” she said.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 21693 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
Today may be rainy, but in general the weather is getting warmer, the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom, and it’s a great time to get out of the house….
Say hello to the curious bunny named Franscisca. This sweet girl is currently in foster and can’t wait to find her forever home! Her friends at Animal Welfare League of…
Public safety in Arlington County is poised to be increasingly automated and unmanned, with more traffic enforcement cameras and drones potentially coming soon. The updates came during a work session…
Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve