Decoding Dyslexia

Decoding Dyslexia is a project designed to provide training to a cohort of early childhood teachers from schools noted to be underperforming in reading. A&M-Commerce Special Education faculty partnered with the Dyslexia Specialist from the Region 8 Educational Service Center due to the rural nature of their extremely large service area. Traditionally, as a whole, teachers in these rural school districts lack outside resources and opportunities available in many more urban areas. For these teachers and these schools, the need is great. Of the students who attended schools in Region 8 during 2011-2012, 64% were designated as economically disadvantaged, 8 % were Limited English Proficient, and 42% were determined to be at risk.

The focus of the Decoding Dyslexia project is to provide 2 one-day trainings (one took place in November 2013 and one planned for March 2014) with a more in-depth session during the summer months, potentially in June, 2014. The Special Education faculty members are hopeful that the summer session can be sufficiently extensive to qualify for TAMUC course credit should funds for tuition assistance become available.

“During the first year of this project, our initial professional development will focus on Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade teachers. Future training opportunities will focus on expanding the skills of this first cohort of teachers and hopefully expanding our efforts to upper elementary, middle, and high school educators.” -Suzanne Thomas, Assistant Professor of Special Education.

Thank you, Brad and Kylene Beers!

Accounting alumnus, Mr. Brad Beers, and his wife Dr. Kylene Beers wanted to assist A&M- Commerce in training area school district teachers to better serve students with leaning differences, specifically those struggling with the mechanics of reading. Dr. Beers’ area of specialty is Dyslexia, therefore they decided to help the university by funding a startup program emphasizing professional development for teachers in this area.

If you are interested in supporting the faculty’s effort to add to the world’s knowledge and resources on dyslexia please contact Devon Herrman at 903-468-8198 or [email protected].