Sara Everett, a bright rising seventh grader, attended Chestatee Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. Sara wanted to enroll in the advanced science class, but her teacher told her that she couldn’t because of her reading level. She didn’t let this stop her and sought out a solution.
Sara’s mother called Ava White Tutorials, a tutoring service in the area, and requested a tutor who could work with struggling readers. Sara was paired with Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) Pat Hammond. Before lessons began, Pat pretested Sara with the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Test to determine her strengths and challenges. The results guided Pat to select Just Words®, a highly explicit, multisensory program for students who have mild to moderate gaps in their decoding and spelling but don’t require intensive intervention. Pat felt this was the best match for Sara’s needs.
Sara began her Just Words journey in August of 2019. She worked diligently through the program and completed all homework assignments. Then, during the 2020–21 school year, Sara was placed in advanced classes. She not only kept up with her peers but excelled! Sara won three academic awards for her achievements: two recognitions for academic excellence from her middle school in language arts and Georgia studies, and the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Now, Sara attends classes that challenge her, and thanks to her perseverance, the Just Words program, and the support of her tutor and family, she has a clear roadmap to reach her potential.
Sara’s story embodies the Wilson mission of “Literacy for All” and shows what can be achieved with an explicit, structured literacy intervention. Congratulations, Sara!