Letters to the Editor

Letter | Literacy council seeks volunteers to help with dyslexia screening, tutoring

The Horry County Literacy Council recently enjoyed a wonderful day at the Conway River Read event on the 12th of April as one of the agencies providing an early childhood literacy project. It was a beautiful day for families to spend time together with many activities to keep the children entertained. Thanks to all who took the time to plan this event.

The Literacy Council had an activity for the children to make a book entitled “All About Me.” Some were meticulous in their drawings, some just had fun doing the project, some took it home to do later but, all in all, they had a good time. It was a good way for those of us experienced in the field of literacy to watch young children and their enthusiasm for art and reading at an early age. However, if they begin to struggle with reading, writing and spelling in the first three years of school, it may be an indication of a learning difficulty … namely dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty; not a medical issue. The formal definition of dyslexia according to the International Dyslexia Association is: “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”

Dyslexia is not the result of poor instruction and it occurs among people of all economic and ethnic backgrounds. A dyslexic student needs someone who understands frustration; understands the difficulties due to an inherited brain difference; and, someone who will not give up on them. A researched-based Orton Gillingham approach can and will help a child learn to read and the earlier the better.

Here are only a few of the “warning signs.” A young child has trouble recognizing letters; as a school age child, a child has trouble remembering facts and numbers; as a teenager or an adult, he or she does not read at grade level; spelling is difficult; copying from the board to paper is nearly impossible. For more information please go to the following website: www.BrightSolutions.US.

The Literacy Council has trained staff in screening for dyslexia and it receives calls two or three times a week to request an appointment to discuss the potential need for dyslexia screening and, if needed, a tutor who has been trained in an OG method. The demand for help is overwhelming, yet the pool of available volunteers is insufficient to meet the demand. The council is trained in an OG method and welcomes your help.

Please give serious consideration in becoming one of our trained volunteers to help those on the waiting list. These kids need your help now.

The council is in the Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center, 3101 Oak Street, Myrtle Beach. Office hours are 9 am – 3 pm, Monday through Thursday. Call 839-1695 for information.

The writer is board chair for the Horry County Literacy Council.