We're taking our show on the road this week with an exciting presentation and Camp Show in the Farmington Valley near Hartford, Connecticut. One of the greatest things about Camp Shows is the opportunity to provide "on the ground," free public instruction to a new, diverse audience. Why Connecticut? The parent of a beloved camper invited us, that's why! Read about this parent's observations of her son after Camp Spring Creek in the following press release. If you'd like to host a Camp Show in your area (and see Susie!), just call our office and let us know.
Dyslexia Awareness & Camp Show
West Hartford, Connecticut – January 21, 2015 – Nationally known dyslexia advocate and camp director Susie van der Vorst presents on early intervention, signs, and solutions.
Camp Spring Creek, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, is an academic and recreational camp supporting dyslexic children ages 7 to 14. Invited by a local West Hartford family whose child attended the camp, co-founder and director Susie van der Vorst will discuss early intervention practices, signs, and solutions for parents, teachers, and administrators. van der Vorst will also facilitate a brief discussion of Camp Spring Creek and take questions from the audience. The event is free, open to the public, and welcomes children.
According to van der Vorst, with support, people with dyslexia often lead lives of accomplishment. Some of the most successful people in history had dyslexia, including Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney. “So many people with dyslexia are misunderstood,” said van der Vorst. “But just look at the wonderful role models we have! Many succeed in spite of their education. Imagine how they’d be if they had been instructed in the ways that they learn best.”
One of the most highly effective methods for such instruction is the Orton-Gillingham approach. It teaches the structure of language using multisensory techniques that lead students to see, hear, and write a concept at the same time. Processing a single concept in many different ways allows dyslexic kids to grasp skills they cannot learn using traditional methods. It’s that approach that drew West Hartford’s Toutain family to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Winston could attend 1 of only 3 residential camps in the United States accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
“We knew dyslexia was a possibility for our son Winston because his father and paternal grandfather have dyslexia. It was important to ius to try and find something that could help, that would also be accredited,” said mother and West Hartford resident, Lesley Toutain. “My husband and I talked with Winston about how being dyslexic doesn’t mean he isn’t smart, simply that he has to find learning strategies that work for him. But I don’t think that really took hold until he was in an environment where all the kids were in the same boat. Camp Spring Creek was an extremely positive experience for him.”
The academic program at Camp Spring Creek includes one-on-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach, keyboarding and writing classes, one hour of reading aloud each day to camp staff, and one hour of study skills. Optional math remediation or enrichment is available. The activities offered by the program include wood shop, art, swimming, orienteering, and waterskiing. There are also field trips to explore the surrounding Blue Ridge landscape and culture. “We often see students make two to three years worth of progress during a six to eight week session at camp,” said van der Vorst. “Our approach is designed to target a child’s individual strengths and weaknesses and help them excel. But we also recognize the value of keeping kids active throughout the day. These kids can’t learn as well if they’re stuck behind a desk. The learning needs to be hands-on so that they can get multiple senses involved.”
The info session will be held Wednesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Saint James’s Episcopal Church, 1018 Farmington Avenue, in West Hartford. For more information, call (828) 766-5032 or visit www.campspringcreek.org.