October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Maine Department of Education and RSU 5 have begun a teacher-training project for the 2018-2019 school year. Twelve teachers including reading interventionists, special educators, and district special education director, Bonnie Violette will receive extensive Structured Literacy training provided by dyslexia specialists from the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Portland.

Structured literacy is a teacher-led approach characterized by the provision of systematic, explicit instruction of language and reading.  The skills taught are helpful for all students; but they are especially critical for students with language-learning weaknesses, including dyslexia.

The teachers began their training in June with a fifteen-hour seminar and have recently completed an additional fifteen hours of seminar training.  They have just begun to apply new skills and knowledge with their students.  The teachers will receive extensive practicum supervision throughout the year.

Pownal Elementary Teacher
Hillary Massicotte delivers her first Structured Literacy lesson to a fourth-grade student at Pownal Elementary School.

Lisa Whitis, Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE, recently visited Pownal Elementary School to observe the teachers in action. “The students are loving it, especially the kinesthetic piece, I’ve already begun to see improvement,” shared Hillary Massicotte.

Special Education Director, Bonnie Violette, noted that she has a talented group of dedicated teachers and they are excited to be part of this project.

For further information contact Lisa Whitis,  Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE at Lisa.Whitis@maine.gov or (207) 624-6643