Increase In Core Reading Programme Demand

November 20, 2017

Demand for The Reading Clinic’s Core Reading Programme increased during the school year 2016-17, according to the programme’s latest Evaluation Report.

A total of 100 students from 26 schools – 18 government schools and 8 private schools – received reading tuition from the Clinic, up from 92 in 2015-16. The majority of students [79] came from primary school, with 19 from middle school students and 2 adults.

Amy DaCosta, Reading Programme Coordinator, said: “The continued focus of the Core Reading Programme has been on helping students in the early primary years that have a pattern of dyslexia.

“This year, given the large number of student enrollments, we continued to prioritise allocation of spaces for students with a clear pattern of dyslexia. For the second year in succession, the programme exceeded its cap of 90 students and had a wait list, clearly indicating that demand for our services is increasing.”

The programme assesses four basic areas: Decoding, Oral Reading, Comprehension and Spelling. Ms. Da Costa said: “Improvements of a year or more were seen in all but one area: fluency, in which further evaluation revealed that students with a particular profile/pattern of dyslexia were the only ones to perform with less than one year’s improvement.

“This pattern is consistent with last year and shows that in general, students are able to improve at the same rate, or at a better rate than their peers. Primary school students’ gains were around 1 grade level on each measure. However, Middle School students’ gains were more varied, fluctuating between 0.4 and 1.8 grade levels.”

She reported that there was an increase in the number of private school students and the number of female students enrolled in the programme. “This shift is likely a result of increased enrollment from two particular private schools as well as a few students leaving public school for private school. The 12% increase in number of female students compared with a 20% decrease in enrollment for male students. Overall, female students now make up 48% of total enrollment.”

In total, 6171 one-on-one sessions were delivered to 100 students by 42 tutors – an increase of 3.7% over last year. Financial assistance was provided to 50 students with 11 receiving full bursaries.

Ms. Da Costa explained: “Since The Reading Clinic is a registered charity, we do not ask parents to pay tutoring fees to cover the approximately $702,100.00 per year that it costs to run the programme, which would amount to approximately $110 per hour. Instead we charge parents fees ranging from $0 per session to no more than $60 per session.”

Other highlights of 2016-17 included:

  • Seven Professional Development Meetings were held for new and established tutors, as well as SCARS training for new tutors, and for established tutors who wanted to renew their training.
  • A workshop series was delivered to Government teachers assisting with learning/support or Leveled Literacy Intervention.
  • The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia film was screened during a PTA meeting at Harrington Sound Primary School.
  • America’s Cup safety diver Sam Bennett, a member of Softbank Team Japan delivered a presentation to students and parents on growing up in Bermuda with dyslexia.
  • A parent lunch-and-learn was provided to parents this year regarding the topic of homework stress.
  • The Reading Clinic partnered with The Association of Diagnostic and Psychological Services [ADPS] to create an after school club to help provide education, tools and emotional support for Reading Clinic students struggling with anxiety or social problems, such as bullying, related to their learning differences. The group was run at minimal cost to the parents and will continue during 2017-18.

In addition, counselling services continued to be provided at low cost to several student families whose children were also struggling with certain socio-emotional difficulties. Students were enrolled in a programme with Dr. Jen Lyne and recommendations were provided by the Programme Coordinators. Susannah Cole continues to offer Executive Functioning support.

A full copy of the Core Reading Programme Evaluation Report can be viewed here.

Dr. Glenn Faries, Executive Director of The Reading Clinic, commented: “The report once again underlines the need for our services and reflects the professionalism and dedication of our staff and tutors.

“We are once again thankful to our lead sponsor HSBC Bermuda and major sponsors The Reading Clinic Foundation, Renaissance Re,
Aspen Insurance, Ernest E. Stempel Foundation, Tokio Millennium Re, Government of Bermuda, Miles and Pearl Outerbridge, Argo Group,
Appleby Bermuda, Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Chubb Foundation. We could not sustain our services without their generous support.

Other sponsors of the Core Reading Programme include PartnerRe, Bacardi International, Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association, FIL Limited, and the Bermuda Community Foundation.

The full Core Reading Programme Report follows below [PDF here]

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