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District 11 implements early intervention for students with dyslexia

Keller Elementry helps their youngest learners with a program called Take Flight.
Posted at 10:29 AM, Apr 07, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Nationally, 15-20% of the population have some indicators of a reading difficulty called dyslexia. Symptoms of dyslexia include slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, and poor writing. District 11 is helping their youngest learners overcome their struggles of reading and writing with a program called Take Flight.

Take Flight is a comprehensive, multi-sensory approach to basic instruction in reading, writing, and spelling. It utilizes phonic regularities for reading, rules for syllable division, spelling, and other basic linguistic concepts.

Jacob White is in 3rd grade and has been a part of the free, intense tutoring program at Keller Elementary for a year now. His dad Zack says before they discovered Take Flight they were hitting a wall, "We were doing three hour night with homework and it was beating him down. It was beating us down his parents and eventually find out that there’s something to help was such a relief. For all of us growing up, reading is one of those things that you get nervous in front of people, and it could be something that sets you apart from your peers."

Jacob has dyslexia, a learning disability that specifically impairs his ability to read, he explains, "I wasn't so good at reading and my class was reading while I was still trying to sound out words. It didn't make sense to me." Not only is Jacob now reading some of his favorite books like Green Eggs and Ham, he was recently given an award from the school for Most Improved Reader.

District 11 has poured tens of thousands of dollars into the curriculum, providing free instruction to district families that would otherwise cost thousands in private tutoring. Tricia Torres, a teaching and learning coach at Keller Elementary is also dedicating immense amounts of time to learn the material. Torres said she's not surprised at the huge gains in accuracy she's seeing among her students, "My daughter has dyslexia and she learned how to read with Take Flight. I'm not sure she would have learned to read otherwise. We see so many kids go through our system, that work so hard and we try so many different strategies and can't seem to find the right tool. This is the tool."

Torres credits the program to her daughter's successful college career, where she is now earning honors. As these students overcome the many hurdles associated with dyslexia it's also giving parents an arsenal to help their kids. Zack explains, "Those three hours nights are gone. Now when he's caught up on a sentence I know how to help him approach it differently and It's huge as a parent to see how far he has come."

If you feel your child fits the profile for Dyslexia and would benefit from Take Flight, a comprehensive Dyslexia intervention therapy, district 11 would like to hear from you.

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