Author Archives: Janice O'Connor

Marianna’s Mentors

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/mariannas-mentors/

Determination, a supportive family, dedicated teachers, and a cadre of mentors brought first-year special education teacher Marianna Wells to where she is today. Orphaned at age 2 in her native Hungary, Marianna and her three older brothers spent seven years in orphanages before coming to Massachusetts in 1999, when their adoptive parents, Doris and Kevin Wells, welcomed them into a family that already included three sons. Being the only girl among six boys was the least of Mariannas worries. I came from Hungary completely illiterate in my first language. In third grade, it became e [...]

Inspiring Peers & Educators

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/inspiring-peers-educators/

On his first day of fourth grade three years ago, Britton R. came home begging his mother for a tutor because he knew he wasnt reading like everyone else. Despite trying many different programs and tutors in the past, he still struggled to make sense of the letters on a page. This changed, however, when he met Mollie Bolton, a Wilson® Credentialed Trainer, in November 2014. Through her tutoring and support, Britton learned to read using the Wilson Reading System®. I really liked Mollie. She was teaching me how to read in a way that I had never learned before, and it started to make se [...]

2017 Parent Night

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/2017-parent-night/

Obtaining assistive technology (AT) for students with learning disabilities can seem overwhelming for parents or caregivers. Learning about whats available, how AT can benefit students, who is eligible, and how to collaborate with public schools or districts to acquire services will help demystify and facilitate the process. During our annual Parent Night on October 3, Senior Educational Technologist Nanci Shepardson presented an overview of AT that included a review of students rights under federal laws, guidelines to follow when working with a childs education team to determine app [...]

YMCA Book Club Boosts Summer Literacy

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/ymca-book-club-boosts-summer-literacy/

The summer months arent just for playing outside and doing fun crafts. At the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, campers made progress in their reading skills alongside these traditional summer activities. For the third summer, the YMCAs Quincy Summer Day Camp hosted a free summer literacy program aimed at mitigating summer learning losses. The program, referred to as Book Club by the campers, uses Wilson® materials to advance and maintain the literacy skills of third- and fourth-grade students who have been identified as at risk of experiencing summer learning losses. Th [...]

2017 Trainer Meeting Recap

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/2017-trainer-meeting-recap/

Educators from 28 states gathered in the seacoast city of Portsmouth, N.H., during the 18th annual meeting of Wilson® Credentialed Trainers. The two-day meeting in July provided an opportunity for 128 Trainers and 50 Wilson Literacy Specialists and Literacy Advisors to reenergize, reflect on the past school year, and cultivate new ideas for the upcoming year. The upcoming release of the Wilson Reading System® 4th Edition in early 2018, and the enhanced curriculum and materials it will provide to instruct students with dyslexia, was a primary focus throughout the conference. Wilson Language [...]

Dreams Fulfilled

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/dreams-fulfilled/

Forty summers ago in St. Louis, a handful of educators gathered with 21 struggling readers in donated classroom space and unknowingly launched a legacy.That first seven-week summer session for students with learning disabilities fulfilled a dream of parents who wanted to bring to their own community the type of support and instruction they had previously only found for their children in far-away boarding schools.Following three successful summers and with the support of the greater community and pioneering mentors, the burgeoning summer school expanded to become a full-time day program in the [...]

First Dyslexia Specialist Graduate

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/first-dyslexia-specialist-graduate/

This spring, Margaret Reilley, a teacher in New Jerseys Stafford Township School District, earned her masters degree, top grades, and the distinction of being the first graduate of Fitchburg State Universitys new dyslexia specialist concentration. From her home 260 miles away from the Massachusetts campus, Maggie tackled literacy, language disorders, assessment methods and other related topics to earn her M.Ed. in Special Education: Guided Studies Dyslexia Specialist. The online program launched in fall 2015 in partnership with Wilson Language Training®, a nationally recogniz [...]

Starting a New Chapter

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/starting-a-new-chapter/

I suppose I did okay in kindergarten, but the rest of my formal education was pretty much a flop. So shares Alby Lee Lewis in Life with No Words, a candid memoir about growing up in poverty in Chicago, masking his illiteracy for decades, navigating adulthood as a non-reader, and returning to school at age 55 to learn to read through the Wilson Reading System®. Al has shared his story on the Oprah Winfrey show, with Wilson® instructors, and with college students earning degrees in education. When a college professor suggested he write a book about his experiences, he said, Why n [...]

Cursive Redux

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/cursive-redux/

Cursive handwriting instruction, a rite of childhood in public elementary schools for generations until recently, is making a comeback as more states and cities reinstate lessons in the classroom.While still taught in a number of schools and districts, the amount of time allotted to cursive instruction has been waning over the past few decades. When it was omitted from Common Core State Standards, adopted by a majority of states in 2010, instruction time further decreased or was widely erased from lesson plans altogether as keyboarding and computer skills took priority in time-strapped schools [...]

Teen Advocate

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/teen-advocate/

As a student with dyslexia, 13-year-old Ainsley P. once would have balked at the sight of the four-syllable, 11-letter word legislation. Now, its part of her lexicon.For the past two years, the Virginia Beach eighth-grader has used her voice and experience to raise awareness about dyslexia by advocating for laws that address the educational needs of students with the learning disability.Most people think dyslexia is just mixing up the letters b and d or m and w. They dont realize how much it affects kids like me. If you cant read, its very difficult to learn in all subject [...]