Earlier this month, Susie spent some time visiting Bald Creek Elementary School in west Burnsville. Susie was there to complete assessments in Laura Davis' 1st grade classroom (assistant Lisa Hunter), Jessica Duncan and Ashley Willis' 2nd grade classrooms (assistant Missy Toomey), as well as touch base with a volunteer named Dusty. These educators all received our Associate Level Orton-Gillingham Training through grants awarded to us by the Janirve Legacy Foundation and the Wal-mart State Giving Fund. With this training, teachers were able to return to their classrooms and teach OG-specific language skills to the entire class. Bald Creek Principal Sherry Robinson had this to say about the impact of the training in her school:
"The Orton-Gillingham training has been invaluable. Both teachers and teacher assistants have learned teaching strategies that specifically target weaknesses in phonics and phonemic awareness. They have learned how to 'marry' our K-2 Letterland Phonics Program with the OG strategies and therefore instruct students in a manner which is developmentally and sequentially correct. The training, which Susie van der Vorst delivers, has equipped both teachers and teacher assistants with the background knowledge needed to confidently and competently focus on specific skill weaknesses. As a result of this training and quality instructional time, our 1st and 2nd grade students have made one to two year gains in their reading levels over the past eight months."