Dyslexia effects 12-15% of school children, says Leslie Siebert, a tutor for The Legacy Center and a mother of two children who benefited from the program. “Students who don’t receive help will either shut down, act out, or become a class clown to cope with their frustrations.” Students who struggle to read are at a greater risk for not completing high school and for ending up in the criminal justice system.
The Legacy Center offers an after-school program at Auburn Elementary to teach the Barton Reading and Spelling System through one-on-one tutoring for students who are a year or more behind in reading or writing.
Thanks to a grant award from the Community Initiative Fund, they were able to train 13 additional tutors, allowing an additional 9 students to receive tutoring at Auburn Elementary and opening up a new program at McAlear-Sawden Elementary for 8 more students.
“Anyone who has tutored in this program will tell you that you can see the wheels turning in the students’ heads when they start to understand for the first time,” said Leslie.
Students meet with their tutor for two hours a week until they reach their required grade-level reading. But more than just skills to read, write, and comprehend easier, the program gives students confidence and a space to talk about their frustrations. “It’s a family atmosphere,” says Leslie, “and this finally gives these students a voice.”