Help raise awareness about dyslexia and reading failure, and together we can change the status quo.
Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that reflect what scientists have discovered about how children learn.
It’s a problem that has persisted for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), more than six in 10 fourth graders nationally aren’t proficient readers. A third of kids can’t even read at a basic level.
Here in the District of Columbia, the picture is even more dismal. More than seven in 10 students read below the level of proficiency. The reading skills of 45% of these students are so poor, in fact, that they cannot access the curriculum independently. Only 3% of students in DC can be considered expert readers.
Much more can and must be done to teach our children to be skilled readers.
Ways to be involved:
There's strength in numbers.
DD-DC exists to support individuals and to advocate for systemic change. Reach out and get involved. Consider what you can do to contribute to DD-DC's mission.
Learn about the science of reading. Check out the research here.
Share status updates from Facebook and Twitter.
Social media is a great channel for sharing information and resources quickly. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and help spread our messages to your friends and followers. Try creating a meme... a fun graphic and quote could make an impact!
Invite a friend, fellow parent, or teacher to a local dyslexia event, conference or webinar.
One of the best things you can do is to share your knowledge about resources and information. Bring a friend to the next event you plan to attend yourself. Spread the learning!
Document your story.
Personal stories about the impact of dyslexia or reading difficulties are compelling. Practice telling your story to friends and family members and have them ask you questions. It can take a while to craft a story that delivers the message you want to emphasize. Sharing your story publicly in a way that gets others to care about this issue can be a game changer. Have your child prepare his or her own story, too.
Email and call your lawmakers.
It is important for citizens to participate in the democratic process. If you believe systemic change is needed in DC, then it’s time to start making sure our councilmembers understand dyslexia and the impact it has on our students. Keep your message concise and to the point, and be sure to offer your opinions on solutions and best practices.
Share a book on dyslexia with your child’s teacher. Myths and misconceptions of dyslexia abound. Share your favorite dyslexia-related titles with your child’s teacher and offer to connect him/her to more resources if interested. Highlight or place bookmarks in your favorite sections to call attention to what you want them to learn.
Ask your local school, library or bookstore to promote dyslexia.
Ask if you could help design a dyslexia display for your local school, library, community center, or bookstore. Include books, tip sheets, and resource handouts.
Ask the school principal to share dyslexia websites with staff.
There are many great websites out there with excellent information and resources on dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Create a resource list of all your favorite sites including brief descriptions and ask to have it shared with teachers and resource staff at your child’s school.
Begin a blog about your journey.
If you are passionate about raising awareness or supporting other families on this journey and have the writing skills to blog, go for it! Helping others realize they are not alone is a worthy endeavor and your unique perspective could bring new understanding to many.
Present on dyslexia to your school’s PTA or Board of Education.
Put together an informational presentation or workshop for your school community. Make yourself available as a local resource and consider having your child participate with you. The student voice is very powerful.
Plan a social media campaign.
Get your creative juices flowing and come up with some fun ways to get others engaged. Social media campaigns can be a fun way to show support and if you’re lucky have your message go viral. Ask Facebook friends or Twitter followers to dance, share photos or attach hashtags to their favorite quotes in support of dyslexia.
Contact your local legislator and offer to help write a bill.
Researching legislation in other states and learning a bit about the legislative process could be just the foundation you need to take that first step at finding a champion policy-maker willing to work for the cause.
Meet with school leadership to set district goals on dyslexia.
Begin a dialogue with the administration or board of education in your school district. Ask good questions about their current strategies for addressing struggling students. Share factual information on dyslexia and make suggestions for what improvements you think could be made. Be sure to introduce resources so district officials can continue building their knowledge base and ask that they include you in any future planning or goal setting on the topic.