Summer Newsletter 2022 (August)
Dear Friends of Dyslexia Tutoring Program,
Aah, Summer … lazy days that start with the end of school and end with the start of school. But so much can happen in between! For DTP and its students, the summer break is anything BUT lazy! Check out what’s been happening…and what lies ahead…
In-person services are back!
We are excited to open completely to in-person services this summer. Students can now meet with their tutors either in DTP’s tutoring rooms here at the Rotunda or in local libraries, community centers and schools. We have resumed in-person progress assessments for our students (after every 30 hours of tutoring). Tutor training classes and workshops – and hopefully upcoming parent workshops – are also returning to the in-person format. All tutoring rooms at the Rotunda are maintained with cleaning wipes and plexiglass barriers to help keep participants safe and healthy.
This one-on-one, hands-on, face-to-face interaction during in-person sessions delivers a much stronger outcome for our students, and much richer volunteer experience for our tutors. Virtual tutoring is still an option for those who cannot meet in person.
Our New Be Well Pilot Program, in partnership with Jewish Community Services –
In order to learn to read, you have to be able to learn, period. But the pandemic spurred a mental health crisis among young people, exacerbating feelings of anxiety, isolation, anger, and hopelessness already experienced by those with learning disabilities. So in response, DTP launched a new pilot program – Be Well – in partnership with Jewish Community Services (JCS).
Our Be Well program provides wrap-around emotional and behavioral wellness services to our students and their parents. These 60-minute sessions, facilitated by trained professionals from JCS, are designed to help them relieve stress, manage emotions, learn coping skills, and become more resilient, so they can learn to read. And we must be on to something – so far every session has been full, and Be Well was featured on WBAL and in JMORE Living.
Resiliency is indispensable for dyslexic learners, and even more critical for DTP’s students, who already face greater than average social, economic and educational challenges. We believe supporting the whole person, and their family, will support our students in learning and life.
Summer Camp Program 2022–
DTP was able to send 28 students to Summer Camps at The Jemicy School (16 campers + 2 Counselors-In-Training), The Odyssey School (5 campers) and The Gow School (5 campers) this summer! That’s right – 28 kids got a chance to step outside their regular routine, enjoy the outdoors, receive intensive tutoring, use their bodies and minds to learn, and start to believe in themselves again. Oh – and they also had a ton of fun! All thanks to the generous support of our donors and the staff at these terrific camps for dyslexic learners.
Chelsey Montgomery, who has been with DTP since our Saturday Morning Tutorial Program, won the Best All Round Camper for the girl’s division this summer at Gow. What an accomplishment! This is the third DTP student to receive this honor from The Gow School. Congratulations, Chelsey!
DTP also hosted the Gow students for a pizza lunch on August 15th.
DTP’s Annual Wishes, Dreams & Imagination Gala –
Our Annual Wishes, Dreams & Imagination Gala Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2022. The event will be held at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club. Invitations are out, and we look forward to seeing both established and new friends.
Like last year, our Gala will be a somewhat smaller affair than in years past. Our guests last year really seemed to enjoy this more intimate format, which provided the opportunity to meet other attendees, have great conversations, and a more meaningful evening. Here’s to another successful event!
Supporting and Celebrating Our Volunteer Tutors –
We are pleased to be able to host a Tutor Appreciation Event this year – Pizza and Wine Night –
here at the Rotunda on September 28th from 5:30pm-7pm. Our tutors are the backbone of our program – and their gifts of time, energy and passion are priceless. Without them, we would have no program, and our students would have no hope. We look forward to sharing a slice and glass with these heroes and celebrating both their efforts and the lives they change.
Our next 30-hour Orton-Gillingham tutor training course begins on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 – and yes, it is in-person! Sessions will be held once a week on Tuesdays here at the Rotunda, from 5:30-8pm, and the class will go through November 29th.
We are always looking for new tutors – more tutors means more children learn to read, more lives are changed – so feel free to spread the word.
DTP will continue First Tuesdays each month, a virtual event hosted by Paula Moraine, one of our instructors, so tutors have a regular forum for seeking advice, sharing tips, and connecting with each other. We are also planning tutor workshops on specific topics, starting with “Schwa Sounds” in September. And, you guessed it – the workshop will be in person at the Rotunda.
DTP’s Annual Golf Event –
DTP’s Annual Golf event took place at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. We had lovely afternoon of golf followed by delicious hors d’oeurvres, along with a great cache of open and silent auction items that found their way into lucky hands – including 4 tickets to see Sir Paul McCartney last June at Camden Yards. Thanks to our foursomes, twosomes, and bidders for helping us raise over $39,000.
Student & Tutor News –
- De’Son Pollard – De’Son graduated from Digital Harbor High School last June (2022) and has plans to attend a junior college
- Jaden Carpenter – Jaden enrolled in a 5-week program at Baltimore City Community College over the summer and is hoping to attend Morgan State University this Fall. And he is still working with his tutor
- Karon Brown – Karon, a DTP alum, graduated from Perry Hall High School (2022) and is bound for Frostburg State University this Fall. He will be majoring in Accounting, with a minor in Finance and dreams of becoming a stock trader.
- Khayla Williams – graduated 8th grade at Midtown Academy and will be attending Coppin Academy High School in the Fall.
- Nijai Cabell – graduated from Carver Technical and is now attending CCBC. She is majoring in Cyber Security and has completed an internship with IBM. She was very pleased to meet Tepper the Robot from NASA during this internship.
- Terrell Robinson – Terrell, a DTP alum, spoke at our Annual Golf Event and will be on hand for our Annual Wishes, Dreams, & Imagination Gala Dinner in September as well. Terrell is an inspiration – with DTP’s help he eliminated IEP classes by middle school, mentored other students, graduated high school, finished a bachelor’s degree, and has almost completed an accelerated master’s program in Communications at Towson University.
This is what DTP, dedicated volunteers, generous donations, and a student’s determination can deliver!
Thanks and Recognition
Being able to read is something many of us take for granted. So, we want to take this opportunity to recognize how hard our students fight to learn this basic skill. Our students – and their futures – are the reason we do this.
And of course, our donors, without whom none of this would be possible. Your contributions – large and small – really do change lives. Thank you.
Marcy K. Kolodny