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One in Ten Program Launched

The Windy Row Learning Center of West Peterborough, New Hampshire, has moved to the front of a national effort in early identification of children with dyslexia. Grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Bean Family Foundation, Target, and Makem-Imaje are enabling Windy Row to design the One in Ten early identification program and to present it to preschool and elementary teachers throughout the Monadnock Region.

Since 2009, the number of states mandating early assessment of dyslexia (and early intervention) has steadily risen. This year the New Jersey legislature passed a law mandating assessment before the first semester of grade two.

Windy Row’s One in Ten program is a two-hour workshop that will stress the early signs of dyslexia to prevent children being misdiagnosed with ADD, developmental delays, “laziness,” or behavioral issues and to enable earlier intervention. Educators will also learn some appropriate first steps they can take in their classrooms.

Since 2003, the nonprofit Windy Row Learning Center has taught reading to hundreds of children with dyslexia, through after-school tutoring, the 4-4-4 summer program, and tutor training, which has educated teachers in every school district in association with Antioch University. Windy Row is the only program for children with dyslexia and dyscalculia in the entire Monadnock Region. For more information about Windy Row and the One in Ten program, email Windy Row at info [at] windyrow.org

What Does Windy Row Do?

Windy Row Learning Center in New Hampshire tutors children from kindergarten to age 10. We use internationally known instructional programs and methods like Orton-Gillingham to help children who are struggling behind grade level with reading or math or both. All our teaching is one-on-one.

Your child is assigned a tutor who works with your child throughout the time your child comes to Windy Row. Our tutors are specially trained and very creative when it comes to engaging children. Many of the children we see have suffered years of feeling stupid or being punished for behavioral issues because they cannot read and are too bored to sit still.

When your child arrives at Windy Row after school, the tutor begins one hour of individualized tutoring. That means that our tutoring homes in on the exact struggle your child has, whether it is letter decoding, word recognition, sentence or passage comprehension or a problem with math, such as sequencing. We give your child the specific skills and techniques to work through that struggle. Those skills stay with your child for the rest of his or her life.

We usually see children for 2 years and in that time we can bring a child up to grade level or even beyond in reading and/or math. We have had children make 2 or 3 years of progress with 1 year of tutoring.

Our charges are based on a generous sliding scale, and we offer financial help and scholarships. We aim never to turn a child away for financial reasons.

Please info [at] windyrow.org (contact us )today so that we can begin working with you to give your child the gift of reading.

"Don't Let People Teach You into Being Stupid"

Dyslexic Kids provides mutual support among children and teens with dyslexia. They recently tweeted this note from 18-year old Adrian:

"Sometimes I feel really stupid because i read words different than other people. Sometimes I look really silly because i have to ask what words mean because even though I know them when people say them, seeing them written down is just confusing.

But i'm not stupid just because I am dyslexic. I choose to try my hardest to learn how words look and I try to make sure I practice writing and spelling words.

I get smarter because I try. 

And just because I can't read words, doesn't mean I can't read faces, understand art and ideas. I understand Shakespeare better than most people. Don't let people teach you into being stupid.

So listen here, don't let anyone tell you that you can't ever be smart because your brain is different. You’re difference might have some cool upsides too. More visual, more understanding of internal workings in the mind. You can be smart, don't let people fool you into thinking that different is a synonym for dumb."

If you know a dyslexic child or teen, you may want to connect them with Dyslexic Kids, which was established in 2011 by a then teenager in Indiana.

Windy Row works with teens through 10th grade who are struggling with reading challenges such as dyslexia. Please //info [at] windyrow.org" target="_blank">email us for information on how we can help your teen.

Helping Your Child in the Classroom

You may want to talk with your child's teacher about using these techniques in the classroom (adapted from the Dyslexia Way of Thinking website):

  • If you are doing stressful classwork, give the student time to relax for a few minutes
  • Don´t ask students to read out loud in class
  • Use group work
  • Give students notes when doing board work
  • Read and writing are normal in class, but children with dyslexia learn better with seeing and listening
  • Use discussion in class

In the group's Dyslexia Forum, children and adults with dyslexia share their techniques and tips for dealing with a reading challenge, including using yellow paper and yellow overlays on books to ease reading.

Windy Row Learning Center partners with Monadnock Region school districts--in fact, our tutors have backgrounds in public education and many work in the school system. Please let us know if we can help you to create a better learning environment for your child. info [at] windyrow.org (Contact us )today.

Early Detection of Dyslexia and Other Reading Challenges

The New Jersey legislature recently passed bill A3605 for early detection of dyslexia. Here in New Hampshire, Windy Row Learning Center is proud to announce that we received two grants, one from the New Hampshire Charitable Fundation and one from the Bean Foundation for our new One in Ten Program which will educate pre-school, public school, and private school teachers in the signs of dyslexia and other reading challenges.

In our applications we outlined a 2-hour workshop that would cover:

  • Definition of Dyslexia
  • Dyslexia Basics
  • Understanding Dyslexia
  • Spelling 
  • Multisensory Structured Language Teaching
  • Homeschooling a Student with Dyslexia
  • Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia   
  • Adolescents and Adults with Dyslexia
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and Dyslexia
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Understanding Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia learning disabilities

If you or your organization is interested in learning how to identify and properly respond to children with reading challenges, please info [at] windyrow.org (contact) Windy Row. Most sincere thanks to the New Hampshire Charitable Fund and the Bean Foundation for making this workshop possible.

More Information on Reading Challenges

Does your child have dyslexia? How do you know? What does "dyslexia" mean? If your child began to read but stalled in the 2nd or 3rd grade, can he or she ever read at grade level?

We've tried to answer those questions on the Windy Row Learning Center website but you may want further information. Here are a few sites we can recommend:

  • The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity run by Yale University's Medical Center
  • Dyslexia Action, a UK group that advocates for people with dyslexia throughout their lives
  • Dyslexic Kids, established in 2011 by an Indiana teen to offer mutual support to dyslexic children and teenagers
  • The New Hampshire branch of the International Dyslexia Association

Like Windy Row, these sites are here to help with information. But sometimes you just need a real person to speak to. Please info [at] windyrow.org (contact us) at any time with your questions and concerns.

When Math Becomes a Major Challenge

Lots of people have trouble with math. It took me forever to figure out how to read a clock in first grade and I'm still not sure what 7 plus 4 equals. Occasional problems, a dislike of math or a preference for, say, algebra over geometry may not indicate a learning disability. Here are some of the actual warning signs of math challenges for 2nd and 3rd graders:

  • Counting on fingers long after the rest of the class are doing sums in their heads.
  • Making mistakes about the relative size or relationship of numbers (for example, thinking that 23 is larger than 99).
  • Being uable to take measurements with a ruler or understand the relation of the lines on the ruler to the numbers.
  • Misunderstanding or confusing the symbols for adding (+), subtracting (-), multiplying (x) and dividing.
  • Having trouble keeping score during games.
  • Being confused about the concept of time and greatly misjudging how much time has passed.

Only about 6% of the population has dyscalculia (the math equivalent of dyslexia). Even if a child is not diagnosed with dyscalculia, the challenges listed above can still affect that child's performance in school and lead to lifelong difficulties with math. In an article entitled "Early Math Errors Persist," researchers at the University of Minnesota discuss the signs of math challenges in 2nd and 3rd graders.

At Windy Row Learning Center in New Hampshire, our math tutors are specially trained in internationally known instructional programs to help children overcome their math problems. Please feel free to info [at] windyrow.org (contact us) if you have any concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where is Windy Row Learning Center located?

Windy Row is located in West Peterborough, NH in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.

Q. Are you a full day school?

No. Windy Row is an after-school tutoring program. We also offer tutoring during the summer.

Q. How expensive are you?

Windy Row is a nonprofit, supported through donations, grants and a sliding scale for tuition. Our tuition is based on income. We also have a scholarship program. We do everything in our power to make sure that every child who is struggling with reading or math receives the help they need.

Q. Can you work with children who have multiple disabilities or who are developmentally delayed?

We will interview you and your child to see if Windy Row is a good fit for your child but we are not specialists for children with multiple disabilities. Windy Row focuses on teaching children how to read and do math at grade level using the Orton-Gillingham and other internationally known instructional programs. Some of the children who come to us have been diagnosed or even misdiagnosed as developmentally delayed or ADD; they may have challenges with behavior and learning that are actually rooted in their inability to read.

Q. Do you only work with children diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia?

No. Dyslexia and dyscalculia are medical diagnoses and most children come to us without an official diagnosis. They are usually at least one grade level behind in reading skills, and often three or more grade levels. We test children to determine where they are having the most difficulty with reading (word attack, word recognition, passage comprehension) or math and form an individualized, one-on-one tutoring plan.

Q. Will you come to my child's school?

At the moment, no. We hope to be able to offer on-site tutoring in the future but we have no immediate plans. Right now we offer to tutor each child after school for one hour, twice a week, between Monday and Thursday. Summer tutoring hours are more flexible.

Q. What kind of children come to Windy Row?

Our students are bright, creative boys and girls who are struggling with reading. They vary in age from kindergartners to 10th graders. They want to learn to read but their brains decode symbols in a different way from other children. About 20% of all children have reading challenges--this is not an unusual situation--but very few public or private schools can offer the one-on-one, specialized tutoring the children need to learn to read. About 5% of children have similar problems with math; they also receive one-on-one specialized tutoring at Windy Row. Children with reading and math challenges may also have problems with executive functioning (ordering tasks) and processing speed, which we can help with.

Q. How long do children go to Windy Row?

Each child progresses at his or her own rate. Some children are tutored for a year and gain up to 3 grade levels of skill. Some children are tutored for 2 or 3 years and gain about one grade level each year. Without Windy Row, they would never progress in reading beyond the 2nd or 3rd grade. Our summer program ensures that gains made during the school year are not lost over the summer vacation, but instead are strengthened. We aim to bring every child up to grade level and to give them the skills to continue reading. Our success stories include students who were failing in school and now make straight A's.

For more information, please call or info [at] windyrow.org (email )us today.

"My Child Can Read But..."

Often children have problems with just one facet of reading, such as passage comprehension or reading speed. They understand and easily read individual words; sentences or paragraphs are a different matter.

I recently spoke with a parent who said, "My daughter can read but she doesn't retain anything. She reads a paragraph but doesn't know or remember what she read." This child seems to be fine with word recognition and word attack, but struggles with passage comprehension.

At another time, a parent said, "My son can read, but he reads very very slowly and he gives up before his assignment is finished." This child may have a slow processing speed or may be working so hard to comprehend each word, sentence and paragraph that he is exhausted by long stretches of reading.

Windy Row understands that reading problems come in a variety of shapes and combinations. Children who successfully read words but not longer texts are sometimes labeled underachieving or lazy or lacking in "stamina." Their situation is frustrating for child, parents and teachers alike.

If your child has any challenge related to reading, please consider info [at] windyrow.org (contacting) Windy Row Learning Center. Our reading tutors treat each child as an individual and have the specialized skills and programs to help, whether with individual words or entire books.

Windy Row's Wreath Sale: Help a Child Learn to Read

When you buy a wreath or donate to Windy Row Learning Center, the money you give us goes directly to our scholarship fund to support one-on-one afterschool tutoring for children who cannot read. Pay for our executive director and out specially trained tutors comes out of our operating expenses, which are separate from our scholarship fund. Wreaths are available on November 23 during the Holiday Stroll in Peterborough, NH, at both the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Conval High School Craft Fair. They are also available at Windy Row (corner Windy Row & Union Street, West Peterborough) on the morning of November 30. We will deliver within the greater Peterborough area for multiple orders at the same location. Thank you for your support.

Windy Row Learning Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. When we were originally founded in 2003, thanks to a generous one-time grant, we were able to offer our specialized one-on-one tutoring for free. We did not charge any tuition. Now we have a generous sliding scale, with the goal of never turning away a child for financial reasons. Still, many families come to us unable to pay the full tuition. Their children have usually spent years in one program after another, misdiagnosed, blamed for their inability to read and defeated by repeated failure. We bring them up to grade level, restore their confidence and give them the skills to read and keep on reading. The instructional methods and programs we use (including Orton-Gillingham) are internationally known; our tutors are endlessly inventive, patient and encouraging.

Every year at least half of our students need scholarship support. Your donation gives a child the gift of reading.

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