American Reading Corps
We Ignite the Light
Rationale: Our reading intervention program is performed by interventionists who have been trained in a program supported by today's neuroscientists and reading researchers. Students attend 1-on-1 sessions for 2-3 hours per day, 5 days a week for several weeks. The intensity and duration of the cognitive tasks employed during the intervention results in the acquisition of reading skills that become automatized. The International Dyslexia Association has several Fact Sheets that outline this information, including what reading intervention should look like. The cognitive science behind the mental processes responsible for fluent reading is also explained: https://dyslexiaida.org/fact-sheets/. Finally, each student receives intervention from myself, my Lead Teacher, and 2-3 interventionists. This team approach has enormous benefits including robust collaboration between the members on the team, as well as varied teachers which allows every student to benefit from each teacher's unique personality. Controlled pacing of the program levels and components are implemented every 2-3 days by only myself and my Lead Teacher who has three years experience working with me. She will be returning for a 4th year this summer!
Costs:The approximate program cost range, including pre-/post-assessment, is $2900.00 - $4800.00 (Assessment Fee: $375 | Intervention Hourly Fee: $60 | Non-refundable Summer Program Fee: $60). Assessment fees include substantial and ongoing consultation to parents, as well as two post-assessments for students who complete a program. The first includes an abbreviated post-assessment just after the intervention. The second post-assessment occurs the following Spring and includes all assessments given during the pre-assessment. Typically, students make concrete gains in word attack skills, reading accuracy and motivation for reading during the summer program. It is not unlikely that 1-2 years gain is observed in just 4-5 weeks. The student's reading progress continues, and often accelerates, during the school year. During this time, sight words are learned at a faster pace, reading comprehension improves and reading rate increases.
Don't Lose Hope: If the costs are too prohibitive, learn as much as you can about how the brain learns how to read, and the instructional components involved in reading intervention. The more you know, the more you can kindly advocate for free services at school.
What to Look For: Know that traditional tutoring may not be effective at all if the person does not have a sound understanding of the following:
-How to teach the 18 vowel sounds and do exercises with your child/teen so they develop automaticity in correctly saying vowel sounds in words;
-How to use controlled decoding word lists and have your child/teen decode them by applying effective principles;
-How to use symbol imagery exercises, and other activities that support the cognitive imprinting of common "sight words";
-How to respond to student errors so they process their error, then compare what they said to what the word is. This process helps students become self-correcting;
-How to teach decoding of multisyllabic words, including the most common affixes. Common concepts in multisyllabic words include: one vowel sound in every syllable and Open Syllables end in a vowel letter that can say its name, sound or the schwa;
-How to respond to students when they are reading and they keep making small errors: dropping words, inserting words, changing the tense of words, etc. It is not effective to say, "No sweetheart, read that again." There are methods to help students self-correct this acquired habit;
-How to pace the intervention so that it is not too hard, and it is not too easy;
-How to make the intervention engaging....even fun! This is boring content and most students are disturbed by the fact that they have worked with many teachers and no one can seem to really help them improve their reading dramatically. Effective interventionists must be able to connect with the students, motivate them and actually be effective in improving their skills, which can be seen in a week of daily instruction. Your child/teen will know very quickly if the program is working.
-How to explain to your child/teen that intelligence is made up of separate brain processes from the three distinct brain areas that are responsible for effective reading: Broca's Area, Wernicke's Area and the Occipital-Temporal region. In other words, intelligence is not related to reading ability.
Please let me know if you want me to meet with your child/teen and model what a session is like. You would observe and we would discuss the details mentioned above. I am not a sales person and you will feel no pressure from me to sign up for my programs. Some families have hired me for 6-8 sessions during the academic year. They watch all sessions, then implement the program themselves. Note, this is only effective if your child/teen has a mild problem with learning how to read.