Kyrene School District Receives Dyslexia Preschool Pilot Program Grant

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The Kyrene School District is proud to announce a groundbreaking public/private collaborative project to offer the first in-school Intervention for Preschoolers with Dyslexia. Through the efforts of Kyrene Governing Board member and Kyrene parent, Bernadette Coggins, State Representative Jill Norgaard, Courtney LeVinus, Vice President of the International Dyslexia Association–Arizona Chapter, as well as many others, funding has been secured for this innovative pilot program from The Burton Family Foundation.

The grant will allow Kyrene to be the first public school in the nation to offer intervention to students identified with dyslexia, regardless of whether or not they qualify as a student with a disability under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Kyrene will deliver dyslexia services to students enrolled in the targeted pilot preschools. Those sites are being determined.

“Kyrene continues to seek out resources to support our students with dyslexia,” said Dr. Jan Vesely, Superintendent. “Thanks to The Burton Family Foundation, we look forward to the opportunity to provide options for our preschool families and identify learning disabilities at the earliest stage, to provide support for success upon entering their formative school years. We know that 1 in 5 students have a reading disability and of those, 85% are dyslexic. Addressing the needs of these students is critical to our efforts to improve literacy in Arizona.”

A celebration of the grant is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17 at 11:00 a.m. at Kyrene de los Niños Elementary School, a Title I school located at 1330 E. Dava Drive in Tempe, Arizona.

The mission of the Kyrene Dyslexia Project is to identify our youngest learners with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a hereditary, neurological-based language processing disorder, which makes reading, writing and spelling difficult.  It affects up to 20% of the population and early identification and treatment is the key to helping individuals. To accomplish this, highly trained specialists will administer early intervention to preschool age children identified with dyslexia.

Arizona is one of 15 states to adopt a dyslexia handbook. Legislation passed last session requires the Arizona Department of Education to develop the handbook, which outlines characteristics of students that may have dyslexia and how to assess students to identify instructional needs.

“This is an amazing opportunity for students,” said Kyrene Governing Board Member Bernadette Coggins. “As a parent and Board member, I have been working towards greater identification and support for students with dyslexia for many years.  I’m very thankful for the efforts of the legislature and the Burton Family Foundation in making this project a reality.”

More information on Kyrene School District.

Submitted by Kyrene School District

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