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A Day to Celebrate: Sponsors and Supporters Join Governor Hogan for Bill Signing

The Ready to Read Act, SB 734, was signed by Governor Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Adrienne Jones on Monday, May 13, 2019. More than 50 Decoding Dyslexia Maryland advocates joined House and Senate bill champions including Senate sponsor, Craig Zucker, and House sponsor, Eric Luedtke.
 
Upon the bill's signing, the Ready to Read Screening and Interventions bill became Maryland law and requires all Kindergarten students be screened for reading difficulties including dyslexia. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2019 and school districts are required to have screening and interventions at the ready by  the 20-21 school year.

On or before June 1, 2020, MSDE "shall consult with parents, teachers and other interested stakeholders, to develop resources for use by a county board." The resources developed can help guide implementation of reading screening and implementation best practices. On June 4, Decoding Dyslexia Maryland sent a letter of inquiry to Dr. Carol Williamson, Deputy for Teaching and Learning at MSDE -- the letter asks for a seat at the table when the department begins to develop resources to implement Ready to Read.  Stay tuned for updates.

Thank you to everyone who joined DDMD at the State House to witness the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to ensure that every Maryland student can read and succeed. Our website contains the Ready to Read Act's history along with highlights from the legislative session. 
More Pictures from Annapolis and Ready to Read Act Information
Dyslexia is Real: Experts Respond to Misleading Information on Dyslexia
 
Have you had an opportunity to view the PBS story, What Parents of Dyslexic Children are Teaching Schools about Literacy? The segment aired on April 30, 2019 and was featured in our May newsletter. Education reporter Lisa Stark detailed the changes in Arkansas "where a group of determined advocates have upended traditional reading instruction."  Watch, listen or read the transcript. to gain an understanding of the reaction to the news story. 
 
As we noted, the story hit close to home for many families across Maryland who have suffered due to lack of systematic reading instruction and refusal by school districts to acknowledge dyslexia and address it. Unfortunately, the negative reaction by backers of balanced literacy is not unexpected. A group of  57 former professors, most retired, sent a letter to officials of the Public Broadcasting System taking issue with the segment and its coverage of dyslexia.

Dr. Steven Dykstra crafted a response and enlisted the assistance of Decoding Dyslexia chapters across the country to ensure that the "rehash of lies" and dishonesty is exposed. Decoding Dyslexia MA hosts Dr. Dykstra's point by point reply. Please read and share Dr. Dykstra's insightful and compelling remarks.

Decoding Dyslexia Maryland supports Dr. Dykstra's response and agrees that the 57 signers of the letter by "making claims about the DSM V and reading instruction which are so clearly untrue, by building an argument on lies and half-truths.... have revealed the source of major problems, and it is not in the use of the term dyslexia.”

Join Decoding Dyslexia Maryland, Decoding Dyslexia U.S. and state chapters across the country in advocating for the science of reading to drive reading instruction, curriculum decisions, and school district policies on screening and intervening to prevent reading failure.  
Dyslexia, Reading & Literacy Organizations and Resources
Do You Know How Your District Supports Students with Dyslexia?

This question received attention from WAMU’s Education Reporter Jenny Abamu. She investigated the efforts of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland to support students with dyslexia. Her findings led to the news story with the headline,  "Many School Districts Hesitate To Say Students Have Dyslexia. That Can Lead To Problems." 

Listen
to the report that aired on May 20, 2019.

In the news segment, Ms. Abamu reports that "researchers estimate as many as one in five children have dyslexia. But many school districts identify fewer than 5% of their students as having it. They also don’t test all students for potential reading disorders. And many have avoided the word “dyslexia” altogether. Montgomery County is one of these districts, but it’s far from the only one." 

The reporting of Ms. Abamu was the topic of discussion on he Kojo Nnamdi Show at noon on May 20th. The transcript from the conversation between Ms. Abamu and host, Kojo Nnamdi and the comments from the individuals who called in expands on the devastating impact of failing to addressing reading difficulties. 

The twenty minutes allotted to the discussion was not enough to address all of the listeners' comments. At the close of the segment, Mr. Nnamdi noted that  "a lot more people wanted to join this conversation too." He suggested that the topic and conversation was one that should be continued at a later date. The public comments on the show's website support the reporter's account and demonstrate the need for additional time to address how local school districts provide reading instruction and support those who struggle to read. 
 
Maryland Dyslexia Resources: Task Force Report, MSDE Technical Assistance Bulliten and Data
Join Your County Chapter to Advocate Locally!

The old adage that "all politics is local" is especially true for education.  Each school district has local control over purchasing, contracts, professional learning, budgets and materials. If you want your public school to address dyslexia, then your local chapter is the BEST place to start.  

This spring Decoding Dyslexia MD local chapter leaders organized meetings, spoke at school board forums, and informed county council and commission members on the need for more funding and services for struggling readers and students with dyslexia in K-12 classrooms.

Find the contact information for your county chapter on our website. Like and follow the county chapters on Facebook to keep up with county activities and district specific information.  

If you have any questions about chapter activities, please send us an email and we will connect you the leaders in your area. 

Your county leaders look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at a local event. 
Decoding Dyslexia MD County Chapter Contact Information
Valuable Knowledge Provided to Educators & Parents at Reading Workshop Series
 
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland coordinated three reading workshops last month. The same material was offered at each session, but the group dynamics during each program created a unique experience for attendees.

The feedback from in person and online Facebook live attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Reading instruction novices as well as seasoned practitioners experienced personal and professional transformative moments as they participated in the reading instruction simulations. Parents and educators were immersed in the science of reading and were provided a model of systematic, explicit reading instruction. 

Reading experts Linda Farrell and Michael Hunter with Readsters volunteered their expertise and materials for the FREE workshops. The Chelsea School and The Summit School graciously allowed DDMD the use of their campuses.  THANK YOU!

The program content included reading simulations to help participants to recognize who is a struggling reader and understand how it feels to be a struggling reader, a deep dive into the differences between Balanced Literacy & Systematic, Explicit Reading Instruction, an overview of research-based scopes and sequences for effective decoding instruction; and the difference between Decodable Readers and Leveled Readers. 

Videos from the event can be found on our Facebook page. 

DISCLAIMER:  Please note that DDMD does not endorse any program. DDMD holds workshops and supports efforts to increase awareness and understanding of reading science. The material presented at the workshops is not owned by DDMD and any use or dissemination should not be made without consent of the creators.  

Reading Instruction Doesn't Have to Be Lipstick on a Pig

Dyslexia Community Events &
Newsletter Content
  • Click on the links or images below to learn more about these dyslexia related events. Please confirm date, time, and location with the host organization.
  • Do you know of upcoming dyslexia related events that DDMD members may be interested in attending and should be included in upcoming newsletters?
  • Send the information to  decodingdyslexiacharles@gmail.com 

Listing of DDMD Upcoming Events on Facebook





 

#SayDyslexia Rally, July 9th, Registration Open

We are so excited to bring people together in celebration of the progress made for people with dyslexia. We are taking dyslexia awareness from our local schools to our nation's capital.
Students, parents and professionals from across the country have led the way in advocating for real change to support individuals with dyslexia. 

Join us on July 9th, 2019 for the 3rd Annual #SayDyslexia Rally on Capitol Hill! We will come together to celebrate our successes and re-energize our efforts to advocate for change. 

We are currently inviting all interested individuals and organizations to sign on in support. There are lots of ways to engage:
  • Become a social media partner! Commit to spreading the word about the rally and raising awareness about dyslexia through your personal or organizational social media accounts. Follow us on the #sayDyslexia Rally Facebook Page.
  • Register to attend & bring a group! Let us know now that you will attend and how we can help you plan to mobilize a group of interested advocates to join you. This is a great option for organizations to support the continued advocacy efforts of their members, students, staff and supporters – make sure your group is represented at this year's rally.
  • Support the rally planning team! Please be in touch if you or your organization can support the efforts of our local planners. The #sayDyslexia Rally is run by a completely volunteer team and all logistical support is most welcome.
  • Get connected now to stay informed! Leave us your email so we can send you updates.
LET US KNOW HOW YOU'D LIKE TO ENGAGE BEFORE THE RALLY!
Send questions to saydyslexiarally@gmail.com
*This is not a fundraising event. This is purely an awareness raising event.
 
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