Update on After-School Group
DCA is proud to start the second year of our after-school program at Walnut Creek Elementary. Our therapist-in-training, Nick Jackson, works with the group on campus after school, four days a week. We are pleased to be in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area to deliver this program, and we are exploring options for starting a second after-school group in Fall 2019. Stay tuned!
CALT Chat with Christine Flores at T.A. Brown Elementary
We took a moment to check in with Christine Flores, CALT and 2018 graduate of DCA’s dyslexia therapist training program.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Bilingual Reading Specialist and a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) at T.A. Brown Elementary School. In my twenty-two years at T. A. Brown, I have been a Reading Recovery teacher, a literacy teacher and part-time literacy coach, and for the past two and a half years, a Dyslexia Therapist. All of my jobs have centered around teaching reading, which is one of my greatest passions. I love watching the transformation of children learning to read and then watching them become engaged readers. How have your school and community been positively impacted by your becoming a CALT? Take Flight has had a tremendously positive impact at T.A. Brown Elementary. In the past three years, my school has undergone many changes. The first took place at the beginning of my first year of training when our campus moved into a temporary facility. The Take Flight program provided stability for my students, and me as well. The students love the program’s structure, knowing what is going to happen at each point during the lesson. The students are so proud of their growth in reading and fluency and often share with me the successes they are having in their classrooms. I work very closely with the classroom teachers, and they have really felt the support of having a CALT on their campus. Another impact is the deepening of teachers’ understanding of working with students having dyslexia or reading difficulties. They too share their students’ classroom successes with me. My principal has been so supportive of my training and having a CALT teaching Take Flight. She has seen the effect of the quality training I received each time she observes me teaching and has recommended that teachers and parents observe the Take Flight lessons as well. My principal would love to have another CALT on the campus, one working with primary grades and the other working with the intermediate grades. How did your therapist training impact you as an educator?
This training was truly the BEST training I have received during my teaching career. It was systematic, explicit, and after the initial three weeks in the summer, I felt prepared to begin teaching Take Flight at the beginning of the school year. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable, supportive, and encouraging. My teaching has improved along with my understanding of why my students struggle in reading. The best part of the training was watching my students come to understand how to decode and then read words with fluency and ease; the students’ reading improved, as well as their self-confidence. What are your future goals?
Next year T.A. Brown will be moving to its new school and joining with Webb Primary School. The campus will be larger, and we will have more students. I plan to work closely with the new community, getting to know new students and families, and advocating for the struggling readers.
What’s Happening at DCA?
Save the Date – Celebrating Success 2019
Mark your calendars! We are gearing up for a fun-filled evening Sunday, April 7th at The High Road on Dawson to enjoy the Austin skyline and raise much-needed funds to further expand our after-school program to more children in the Greater Austin area. Be on the look-out for an email invite coming soon.
Event sponsorship and silent auction donation opportunities are available. For more information, please contact Kelly O’Mullan.
2019 Dyslexia Therapist Training Program
DCA is now accepting applications for the summer 2019 dyslexia therapist training cohort. The application can be found on our website. For more information, contact Kelly O’Mullan.
Dyslexia Therapist Training Program
Application Deadline – March 1, 2019