Imagine being an impish 2nd grader who is all silliness, especially when it’s time to read. Then the world closes in…because you are probably dyslexic, but you can’t afford the evaluation to find out and COVID prevented you from being in school for over a year, so school staff didn’t assess you, either.
You are overwhelmed every day, multiple times throughout the day. You are constantly challenged and you are continually frustrated. It’s no wonder you try hard to avoid the task you know you can’t do, and everyone around you can. You want to distract them, so they don’t make fun of you. That’s enough to “break” anyone, let alone a vulnerable 7-year-old. But that is not all you have to deal with…You are also in foster care.
Meet Dylan. That is his true story. It could end there (or get worse). But thanks to you and your support of RITES, we’re changing Dylan’s story.
Dylan received RITES full financial aid to attend the Code Breakers: Unlocking Reading, Writing and Spelling Summer Program this summer. In the 5 short weeks of this intensive program, taught by a master RITES reading specialist, Dylan made significant gains in his reading ability. He responded positively to the highly structured, multisensory instruction that is the hallmark of the RITES approach.
Here is a snapshot of his progress in the RITES Summer Program over the five weeks:
Phonemic Awareness is the ability to distinguish the sound/symbol connection of letters and apply learned sounds to reading words. Phonetic words are those that can be sounded out. “Pseudowords” are made-up words to assess a student’s ability to transfer learned concepts to new, unfamiliar words. (0% = Unable to assess or finish)
The critical socialization opportunities of school also suffered during the COVID-19 shutdown, and children experienced major social navigation setbacks due to the pandemic. The isolation and uncertainty of being in a foster care situation compound the struggle. Beyond learning how to read better, Dylan also benefitted greatly from the small-group setting with his peers who also struggle to read. He learned valuable social skills with clear boundaries that guide and calm students, leading to better, deeper friendships.
Dylan’s story should serve as a sign of hope for all children.
“We can’t thank RITES and its donors enough for the opportunity that Dylan was given. It has made all the difference for him as he continued into second grade. He gained confidence in his abilities and that made him a happier child all around. Not only did Dylan make significant gains in reading, he thoroughly enjoyed himself while doing so. While other children may have regressed in their reading abilities over the summer, Dylan progressed significantly! Dylan loved his teacher and made many friends! You have made an amazing difference in Dylan’s life in five short weeks. Thank you again and we hope you have many more opportunities to help children in need in the future!”
– Dylan’s foster guardian (and grandmother)
It doesn’t take much to change the story for kids like Dylan – just the right intervention and the support of generous people like you. Thank you.
Help other RI children like Dylan build their success stories!