LISBON - With studies showing about 20 percent of children learn to read differently than the rest, Steve Wagner presented the county Educational Service Center board on Monday with an alternative being used in several county elementary schools to provide reading intervention.
Wagner explained a consortium of four county schools - Lisbon McKinley, Crestview, East Palestine and North - received $136,500 in grant money to emphasize multisensory, phonics-based instruction for students struggling in reading.
The grant provided training for teachers in Orton-Gillingham methodology, two sets of text books on helping the students with these issues and literacy coaches for the schools. Additionally, each of the schools received the Wilson Reading System, to help with ongoing individual and small group intervention. Finally, the schools were allotted $1,000 to host family literacy nights at their schools.
"They got quite a bit accomplished," said ESC Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn. "We were very pleased with the level of literacy coaches we were able to hire."
Wagner noted while most students do well with traditional instruction for reading about 20 percent need the multisensory, phonics based intervention programs in order to learn to read well. Wagner noted many schools use a program known as level reading to teach students to read.
"I like level reading for those who read well," Wagner noted, "because (the students) can go as far as they need to."
Vaughn said Wagner, who is a school psychologist, took an interest in reading intervention on his own. In addition to the reading consortium, Wagner is involved in a task force, which is looking at the issues Ohio students dyslexia face when learning how to read.
In other matters:
-Vaughn told the board about a recent Columbiana County Youth Leadership Brunch, which was hosted in part by the ESC and held at the Salem Golf Club on April 15. Students in the eighth and ninth grades from six different schools attended, presenting community service projects they worked on during the school year. The guest speaker was Justin Bachman, a junior in high school who began a Tolerance Fair three years ago to help people learn about those different from themselves. Bachman has Tourette syndrome. The event also was hosted by the CASH Coalition, Family and Children First Council and Akron Children's Hospital of the Mahoning Valley.
- The board approved employment of Daniel Ramus as an occupational therapist, the resignations of Tara Bycroft and Andrea Kidd and created a service agreement with Don Chestnut of C and C Garage to service buses for the ESC
- The board approved $959,423 in bills.
- The next regular meeting of the ESC board was moved to 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 12 instead of the regular date of May 19.