Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis (July 17, 2007)
Sixteen teachers who successfully completed a learning recovery course to help children with dyslexia cope in the classroom have now completed a follow-up course geared at sustaining the advancements made by the children.
The Phonics First Kit focuses on using all the senses as points of association in learning to read. It is being implemented at the grade two level in keeping with the continuum concept of maintaining taught skills.
Elements of this new aspect of the course is based on theories that indicate the is importance for children to be closely monitored by teachers during their first two years at school in order to identify any learning disabilities they may have. While the focus has been dyslexia, all cases or learning disabilities may not be related to dyslexia.
In 2006, the teachers were trained in a programme entitled the “Dyslexia Institute Literacy Programme” which was followed this year with the “Phonics First Programme.”Course facilitator for the 2006 session Wendy Golap, said she was pleased with the decision to put supportive programmes in place to bolster the dyslexia identification and recovery component of the curriculum.
She added that if a child had not developed proper reading skills by the age of eight years there would be only a 1 in 7 chance that he would every read at his age appropriate level. She therefore emphasized the need to work with children’s reading issues as early as possible.
Participating teachers expressed satisfaction with the practicality and success of the programme in meeting the needs of children and were excited to use the techniques they learnt in the Phonics First Session.
OAS Director for St. Kitts and Nevis Starrett Greene, also expressed pleasure in the outcome of the seminar which is a component of the OAS Sponsored Dyslexia Programme.
Mr. Greene referred to the project as a well conceived project that succeeded in matching a critical need with an appropriate response.