Our students showed remarkable progress and our MEAP state reading scores jumped from 56.2 to 82.5 after only 3 months of Phonics First® Academic Advantage On-site Tutoring. I would highly recommend it to any [urban] school wishing to make significant gains in student reading ability. No school should be without it!
– Steve Christian, Assistant Principal, Fleming Elementary, Detroit, MI

Did you Know William Hewlett of Hewlett Packard was Dyslexic?

Considered one of the founding fathers of "Silicon Valley" and the American electronics industry, William Hewlett with his friend and partner David Packard began his career in electronic development in a garage in the 1930s. After more than 60 years as a pioneer in his industry and in a second career as a philanthropist, William Hewlett died January 12th, 2001 at the age of 86.

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Pete Wright, Bringing Special Education Law & Advocacy to the People Who Need it Most

Our success story this week is Peter Wright, Esq. Peter. As a child, Peter was diagnosed with learning disabilities. He received help early on to overcome his learning disabilities and has since become a lawyer who specializes in Special Education Law and Advocacy nationwide. Read his story below:

"Pete Wright is an attorney who represents children with special educational needs"

In second grade, Pete was diagnosed with learning disabilities including dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. He was fortunate - his learning problems were identified early. His parents obtained intensive Orton-Gillingham remediation for him by Diana Hanbury King..."

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School is Never "Out" for Teachers

It is 5PM on a Wednesday night and a handful of teachers are still in class. Their students have long since traded their backpacks for afternoon snacks and video games, but these teachers have traded one classroom for another; the teacher has become the student. This dichotomy between teaching and learning is a year-round occurrence at RLAC- the Reading and Language Arts Centers, Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, MI where teachers, parents, and would-be tutors alike, come to learn methods to help students who struggle with reading decoding and fluency. Tonight, the participants have reached the halfway point of the Phonics First® Foundations course, (a Multisensory Structured Language program utilizing Orton-Gillingham methodology). With the knowledge they have learned in this course, they will be prepared to address reading deficiencies for all of their students.

RLAC Master Instructor, Ingrid Hartig, explains why the Phonics First® program is integral for teachers who work with those just beginning to read or those who are struggling to do so: “Once teachers are armed with the Phonics First® strategies and techniques, they will have the tools with which to address all readers and the difficulties that they may be having with the decoding process.” Ms. Hartig, who holds a master’s degree in education, goes on to state why Multisensory Structured Language (MSL) programs, like Phonics First® Foundations, garner such success in reaching a wide variety of students, “…the fact that all of the senses are being engaged… you have a classroom or a small group of kids – well some of those kids are going to be using their auditory processing, some will benefit from the visual processing – so when you’re using the multisensory instruction, you’ll be sure that your instruction will be meaningful to all kids in the group.”

Back in the RLAC training room, the participants are presenting their practice lessons to their partners. There is a lot of laughter and even more glitter (some of the multisensory activities are very crafty). Demonstrations, group work, and hands-on experience presenting multisensory lessons ensure that the assumed didactic tone of an instructional class for teachers turns into an informative and enjoyable experience. Teachers in the Phonics First® course say that the course is hard work (it is a graduate level course), but the skills learned are worth the extra hours they must put in after a full day of work. RLAC tutor, Autumn Templeton, explained: “The Phonics First® training has provided a way to successfully teach the building blocks of our language in a manageable and systematic way.”

In addition to the Phonics First® Foundations program, RLAC provides professional development in: Greek & Latin Root and Affix study, Comprehension, Handwriting, Writing Skills, Phonological Awareness, and their proprietary program for middle and high school students, Phonics First® Structures for Reading and Spelling.