East Valley District Pilots Preschool Dyslexia Program

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 5:10am

An East Valley school district is piloting a program for preschool students with dyslexia.

A $120,000 grant from the Burton Family Foundation will help the Kyrene School District identify and work with students who have trouble learning words. 

The district’s Director of Exceptional Student Services Sandra Laine said dyslexia affects more than a child’s ability to read.

“They don’t hear the sounds or produce the sounds in the same way or learn them at the same rate as other children,” Laine said.

Laine said the program is the first of its kind in the state and targets a critical time in a child’s development.

“This is when the brain just is soaking up all of this information and language and the longer we wait, the more difficult it is to intervene with a child,” Laine said. “The child doesn’t pick up as quickly certain skills.”

RELATED: NPR's Series 'Unlocking Dyslexia'

The program will start at Kyrene De La Mariposa and Kyrene de los Niños and last for three years.

The district will work with the Wellington-Alexander Center to screen children for learning difficulties and intervene with speech exercises. The speech-language therapy center will also train teachers on how to work with kids individually and in small groups.

Parents can learn more by contacting their school or the district office.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved the creation of a dyslexia handbook for Arizona schools.

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