Pioneer Dyslexia Program

"Smart kids that can't read." That is one person's definition of dyslexia. Most students with dyslexia end up in special education classes, but Heidelberg Academy has dyslexia therapy to help students overcome their hurdles in learning to read.

Sonya Bridges, founder and director of the "Rebel Readers" program tells us, "It's K through 12. We love to get them as young as possible because that's where we have the greatest success, and if we can catch them, the younger we can catch a dyslexic child, the greater the success."

All students start as a blank slate, working on pre-reading skills and building from there by involving as many senses as possible.

Cathy Bailey, a certified academic language specialist who works with the dyslexic students, says, "We work on phonological awareness; we work on spelling, work on reading, handwriting which I think is very important, and all done in a very multi-sensory way."

Research shows that 1 in 5 students has some form of dyslexia, so even though this program is still in its infancy, it is already showing tremendous results.

"Our program is geared for success," Bailey says. "Once they realize what they can do and we build on that and help them feel successful. Once they realize that they can do, their whole attitude changes."

The program is looking to expand for next year and grow statewide.

"We want to be a model for all the schools in the state of Mississippi because we believe in our program and the proof is in the pudding because it's working," explains Bridges.

On Tuesday, Newscenter 11 will showcase a now successful student.


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