Several of our U.S.-born students read at a very low level due to dyslexia or some other reading disability. This past summer, the Council invested in the Barton Reading & Spelling System, a proven curriculum designed specifically to overcome those challenges.
The curriculum, which can also be delivered remotely, is multi-sensory and phonics based. For example, students pull down colored tiles representing consonants or vowels to form words. They tap their fingers while repeating sounds and write on the screen. The lessons are carefully scripted, so volunteers know exactly what to say and do to build a foundation in phonics.
“It’s comprehensive,” says volunteer Lisa Heinze, who also draws upon her experience as a former elementary classroom aide to tutor a 20-year-old learner, who had a brain condition that impaired her cognitive abilities. The lessons, Lisa says, “are organized and easy to use.”