Finally! DRC Is Reaching More Students

Morgan Kimball 

In late 2021, Dyslexia Reading Connection (DRC) applied for a grant with the Antioch Foundation for a Remote Tutoring Expansion Project. Our goal was to build our capacity so we can serve more students who need specialized Orton-Gillingham instruction using the Barton Reading & Spelling System. This project came with a $14,000 price tag. In order for DRC to purchase a remote site license of the Barton System, we needed to write grants to cover the cost of the purchase.

The Executive Director, Kimberly Stevens, set out to accomplish this task with $0 expense to the organization. “We didn’t want to pass along the costs of the project to our families, and our waitlist was growing. We needed to find a solution.”

The Antioch Foundation was one of the first organizations that jumped on board to support this initiative and agreed to cover half the project. The remainder of the project was covered by the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the U.S. Venture Schmidt Family Foundation. “The students we serve will forever be positively impacted by the generosity of these organizations,” said Stevens.

Dyslexia doesn’t only impact students in the Fox Cities, or even the state of Wisconsin. Dyslexia is nationwide and it impacts 1 in 5 people. That could be 5 to 6 students in every classroom. School is hard, but life without adequate reading skills is even harder. Therefore, reaching the learning demands of the dyslexic community with the assistance that was made possible by these generous organizations makes overcoming the learning challenges from dyslexia possible for more students.

Since purchasing the Barton Remote Site License in 2022, DRC has hired and trained five remote (online only) tutors. These tutors work individually with dyslexic students using a research-based intervention program. Dyslexia is a neurological language processing differing ability, and the Barton Reading & Spelling System is scientifically proven to get a child to read and spell up to a High School grade level. Our new tutors have already begun working with students through phonemic awareness and closed syllables. We are hiring more remote tutors this summer so we can make an even greater impact on overcoming the reading challenges of the dyslexic community.