Two Mothers, Two Daughters
In January 2014, two mothers joined forces with like minds and similar stories. Elissa Aten and Jackie Blake each have a bright, well-adjusted daughter who happens to also be dyslexic. For both, the journey to a dyslexia diagnosis took years. Both spent countless hours researching reading disorders and learning about dyslexia. Both searched for testing and tutoring resources. Both learned the importance of advocating within the school setting to ensure that their daughters received support needed to succeed.
Jackie’s daughter showed signs of struggling with reading in kindergarten. For many years, it was a mystery why her intelligent daughter was falling behind her classmates with respect to reading. In fifth grade, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. After understanding her difference Jackie was able to determine her deficits and provide her with the tools and services to succeed. Today, she is a college graduate, pursuing her passion to become a journalist.
Elissa’s experience was similar. Her daughter was one of the first to read a book to the class in kindergarten (clearly memorized!), but by second grade she knew her daughter was falling behind. Her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia by a private practitioner mid-third grade and completed 200 hours of Wilson tutoring. She recently graduated with honors from the Winter Sports School, a local charter school, which enabled her to pursue her love of ski racing year-round.
Both mothers learned how difficult it can be to find reputable resources. Both learned how dyslexia impacts self-esteem and confidence. Both learned the significance of a diagnosis and moving forward. Both learned the importance of early identification and intervention. Both knew that there were many other families similarly situated. Both wanted to share their experience, knowledge and resources with others. Fortunately, they were introduced through a local reading tutor and their passion for helping others led to the formation of PC READS.
The first PC READS meetings consisted of just a few parents sitting around a kitchen table. Today, PC READS provides support in our community through family advocacy, community education and school collaboration. It is no longer necessary for parents to go through the same difficult journey alone and unsupported.
Local Organization Promotes Dyslexia Awareness (Park Record, September 2014)
Our community provides the support and resources necessary to empower dyslexic students to reach their full potential.
Recognizing, Educating & Advocating for Dyslexic Students
Park City READS is a local nonprofit advocating for recognition and education of dyslexic students. We promote elevating literacy through early identification of struggling readers, effective reading interventions and appropriate classroom accommodations. We provide resources and support to families with struggling readers, particularly those identified as dyslexic.
Recognizing the prevalence of dyslexia among struggling readers of all ages.
Educating dyslexic students and other struggling readers through evidence-based
reading interventions and appropriate accommodations.
Advocating for early identification of struggling readers and continued professional
development of educators.
Dyslexic Students are able to reach their full potential: achieving high self-esteem and confidence.
Gin & Phonics, May 2019