Coming all the way from Australia to Bakersville, North Carolina for the summer with two young children is a big commitment. But our tutor Renya has never shied from diving in wholeheartedly when it comes to helping her child and other children overcome learning difficulties.
When he was just a toddler, Renya’s son Harry had speech and language delays and she knew there had to be a cause for the frustration he was expressing in his behavior. She had him tested. “Because of my background (a degree in psychology and work with kids who have disabilities), I knew that early intervention was key,” she says. Testing indicated auditory and visual tracking issues which would affect Harry’s ability to read. She read everything she could get her hands on about what these issues might mean for Harry in the future. Over time, she began to suspect he might be dyslexic. To ensure that she would be able to help him, Renya took the Orton-Gillingham Associate-level training. “I’m all about empowering myself to advocate for my kids,” she says.
But she doesn’t advocate for her own kids alone. Over the summer, Renya has helped many of our campers make great leaps forward. She helped one student move from writing in print only to using cursive. “He was really proud of himself,” she says. Giving campers the tools and rules they need to be successful has been the most rewarding part of her experience at Camp Spring Creek. Having Susie to help her put her training into practice this summer has been another highlight. “I’m so lucky to have her as a mentor,” she says.
As Renya has helped campers to grow, her sons Harry and Alex have also become beloved members of the camp community, too. After completing her tutoring experience this summer, Renya will return to Australia and then come back again to complete another Associate’s level training with Susie in September. Her dedication is inspiring and will no doubt benefit many kids both in the US and Australia for years to come.