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The Gift of Literacy

Megan Saffell is a second grade teacher at Warren Hills Elementary School in Liberty, MO, with over twelve years of teaching experience. At the end of the 2014–2015 school year, Megan shared how rewarding and life-changing it was to go through WRS Certification with her practicum student, Seth.

I stumbled upon the Wilson Reading System about three years ago. The more I researched and found out about this amazing system, the more I wanted to be a part of it and learn more about it. It was exhausting seeing kids who were struggling with reading while I was working to do everything I possibly could to help them, but who still were not making the gains that I had hoped. I was at the end of my professional knowledge. That’s when Wilson appeared in my life!  I am so thankful and grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of something so life-changing for both students and teachers!

I recently completed my WRS Level II Certification and want to write about a smart, kind, and fun young man named Seth who aided me along the way. He has been my Wilson Reading System practicum student for two years now, helping me complete my WRS Level I and Level II Certification. We have had fun throughout this process and Seth has improved tremendously in all areas of reading and writing. 

When Seth first came to me, he was not confident about his reading ability and was performing below grade level. After working with him using the Wilson Reading System for a year, both his classroom assessments and his standardized testing scores improved dramatically. We all began to see a more confident fifth grader emerging. Other teachers in my building who had not heard of the Wilson Reading System began taking notice and asking more questions about the remarkable reading tool that I was using.

After working with Seth for a little over a year, Seth’s mom told a story about how his parents got him a new air hockey table for Christmas. On Christmas morning, they had left written clues all over the house for Seth to go and find his big gift. She immediately panicked and wasn’t sure if Seth would be able to read all of the clues and find the gift in the basement. However, Seth put all of her fears to rest and read each and every clue. He was able to find the air hockey table with no problems at all. Seth’s mom said she had tears running down her face when he arrived at his gift downstairs. It was a very proud moment for Seth and, of course, for me too.

Seth and I have now made it to Step 10.3 and he successfully finished sixth grade. This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to share it with additional students in my classroom, other teachers I work with, and future students that I may tutor. Thank you WRS! 

Megan recently provided an update with excellent news about Seth’s achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). In the past two years, his scores have gone from below basic to now being proficient—and even scoring half-way to the advanced column in language arts. Congratulations to Seth and Megan on all their accomplishments!