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Hilltop Country Day School Pilots Reading Program for Dyslexia

Laura McGee

Thursday, July 17, 2014 • 10:00am

SPARTA, NJ-This past school year Hilltop Country Day School piloted a program to address the needs of lower school students diagnosed with dyslexia.  Hilltop teachers Wendy Maxwell, Lois Fleming and Reading Specialist Linda Fellows worked together to incorporate the Orton-Gillingham reading approach into the student’s regular school day.

Orton-Gillingham is an approach to reading instruction that focuses on reading fundamentals. The theory combines multisensory techniques to develop phonemic awareness skills, spelling, writing and comprehension. The multi-sensory approach, including auditory, kinesthetic and visual, is beneficial to not only students with dyslexia, but for all learners. The Orton-Gillingham approach is most powerful under the direction of a well-trained and experienced instructor.

One-on-one instruction in the Orton-Gilllingham Approach benefited the students enrolled in the program and was quite successful as part of the student’s school day. At the end of the program, the students made significant progress in decoding skills, memory words, fluency and comprehension.  The most successful result was the confidence and self-esteem the students gained in reading and classroom participation.

This program will continue to be used at Hilltop Country Day School in the fall.  Instruction will be provided to those students who are showing an area of weakness in their reading and writing skills.  Hilltop will also incorporate an Orton-Gillinham component to their regular reading program in Kindergarten through third grade classes. Because the Orton-Gillingham approach allows flexibility and the multi-sensory component follows best, instructional practices the Orton-Gillingham approach will benefit all students.

Additionally, Hilltop Country Day School will be running this specialized reading instruction over the summer and after school this fall.  Wendy Maxwell will provide the instruction.  Wendy Maxwell is a teacher at Hilltop Country Day School who is multi-certified, holding certificate in Elementary Education, Special Education and Orton-Gillingham.  For additional information about Hilltop country Day School or reading tutoring, contact Hilltop at 973 729-5485.

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