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4.26.18 – SPOKES Notes & Photos

SPOKES Notes written by Shannon Kolarik

Today’s Rotary Luncheon was wonderfully commandeered by the students of Interact Club. Mylé Moody, President of Interact, guided us through the program along with her team of Interact members who led everything from the song to invocation to announcements. They did a great job considering they thought they were scheduled for May 10th!

Mac Wyn announced our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Michael Ryan, a Psychologist with over 30 years treating children and adults with dyslexia, ADD, and other learning disabilities. He is also President of the Michigan International Dyslexia Foundation.

Today’s topic was the Science of Reading. Dr. Ryan started his presentation by stating that, at a National level, only 37% of students are proficient in reading and for 20 years, 20% have not been responding to the current structure of teaching. Dr. Ryan refers to this as the “National Reading Crisis”.

The National Institutes of Health has done a great deal of research around Dyslexia including longitudinal studies across entire school districts. Their findings have shown that everyone uses phonics, and everyone learns in stages. Whether it be for genetic reasons or perhaps their environment, some students cannot get past stage 1 when learning to read and may require a different style of teaching.

Stages of Learning to Read:

  1. Phonological Awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Fluency
  4. Comprehension

Dyslexic children have difficulty deciphering the sounds (KUH-AHH-TUH) that are necessary to move on to stage 2 of the learning process. Dr. Ryan went on to say that these children are very teachable, they just learn in a different way. He feels they need a structured phonetic program designed for the individual that takes a multi-sensory approach (incorporating sight, hearing, and sound) and tackles phonetics one sound at a time.

The sooner we start catching dyslexia, the sooner we can adjust our methods of teaching accordingly and get that National percentage to a much higher number; a crucial challenge that Dr. Michael Ryan has contributed to throughout his life’s work.

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