This article was originally published in the Mitchell County News Journal.
Camp Spring Creek received a grant from the Walmart State Giving Program to continue working towards closing the reading gap in Mitchell County. Camp Spring Creek originally received funding from a local organization to train three Mitchell County teachers in the Orton-Gillingham philosophy and with the success from that first training, Camp Spring Creek applied for and received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to further the teacher training program in 2010. This summer, Camp Spring Creek was awarded the $25,000 grant from Walmart to continue working with local teachers to help students become better readers, writers, and spellers.
The Orton-Gillingham approach is personalized, diagnostic and prescriptive, recognizing each student as a unique learner. There is no "one size fits all" solution nor is it a packaged program for method. The Orton-Gillingham philosophy complements and enhances many research-based curricula.
Teachers that utilize this approach, adding it to their instructional methods, are able to tailor the program to meet the needs and learning styles of each student or small group of students.
In addition, flexibility is built into the approach. Practitioners know that each child will reach different stages at different times. As a result, the students flourish and learn at a speed that is right for them and in a way that is right for them.
Deyton Elementary School exceptional children's teacher Priscilla Dunn stated, "We've never seen gains in reading skills like we have in 2011, with so much mentoring. Multi-sensory language instruction enhances the curriculum we have and allows us to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all children. My students love the fast pace and the multiple ways to show their skills and the patterns they are discovering in words."
A sixth grade student at Bowman Middle School said, "This is the first time I've ever heard a teacher explain how language works...now I get it!" Another student, a third grader at Gouge Elementary stated, "I like the personal spelling lists. I can take as long a I need until I get a word and fly through the ones that are easy for me!"
Camp Spring Creek Outreach Training Center is hosting an Orton-Gillingham Associate Level Training Course Oct. 10-Dec. 19, on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4-8pm. This associate level course is funded by the Walmart State Giving Program and is open to any interested Mitchell County teacher who would be able to implement the Orton-Gillinghamn curriculum in their classroom. This is the basic course in the Orton-Gillingham approach that enables you to instruct with better understanding of the structure of language and multisensory teaching.
The course includes an in-depth introduction to phonology, structure of English, characteristics of dyslexia, multisensory teaching, assessment tools, grammar and written expression and interactive demonstrations, and activities to use the approach.
A practicum can be arranged to a limited amount of teachers wanting to implement best practices in reading instruction, along with opportunities for team teaching, demonstration, and teacher observation.
This training will be hosted at the Outreach Training Center in Spruce Pine. Interested teachers may join the training on any day but in order to receive course completion, participants would need to attend each session. There is a limit of 10 teachers on any given day. Light refreshments will be provided.
To register, visit Camp Spring Creek's website at www.campspringcreek.org to download the registration form or call the camp office at 828-766-5032. A complete registration form is required to reserve your spot in the training. Also, you can find out more about Orton-Gillinghamn or Camp Spring Creek on the camp website.