2020 Fall Newsletter

Dear Friends of Dyslexia Tutoring Program, DTP just celebrated our 35th Anniversary with, due to Covid-19, a virtual Gala Wishes, Dreams & Imagination.  The Gala presentation was very successful.  We showed a new video of a number of our past and present students, along with other members of the DTP family, talking about how DTP has helped them and their families in learning to read.  We were able to tell our story, and the testimonies of our students were very well received.  Lester Holt, from NBC News, made a surprise appearance by video to congratulate DTP on its 35 years.  He came to Baltimore a number of years ago to film a story about DTP. We thank everyone who attended and was able to contribute.  We want to share with you that at this time we have raised over $85,000. All of our wonderful plans for spring and summer were brought to a halt last March by Covid-19.  But DTP never stands still!  Therefore, DTP has provided all of our students and tutors who did not have an iPad with one, so that now all of our students are being tutored online every week. With Barbara Wolf’s assistance, we have provided three Zoom trainings and one workshop in how to use Orton-Gillingham techniques virtually.  Barbara also offered a Zoom meeting so all of the tutors could share their experiences and give suggestions to each other about how to help their students.  The tutors had many very interesting suggestions, such as how to find items for the whiteboard, best reading materials, and how to use virtual field trips—to anywhere in the world--as a basis to teach reading, writing, and spelling skills.  Barbara will hold our Zoom meetings every month for the tutors to share best practices. The Partnership with Morgan State University has been very successful.  We welcome a new instructor, Paula Moraine, who is working with Dr. Ann Bain.  The candidates were trained at Morgan and are now back to tutoring DTP students twice a week.  Because of Covid-19, all of the training and tutoring is done virtually.  The training is focused on how to use Orton-Gillingham techniques online in a way that is both educational and fun for the children.  In the OgStar Reading Program, we are continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of a reading app, called OgStar Reading Complete.  The app is based on learning to read using Orton-Gillingham techniques.  In the program, DTP has provided managed iPads, with the apps, to 13 students and 13 tutors. The students work with their tutors each week virtually for one hour, and then the students, independently of their tutors, work for another hour with the app on the iPads.  The success of the program is that the students are getting more learning each week, and their reading skills are improving.  We did not have Summer Camp this year, due to Covid-19.  However, we were able to send a few of our students to a virtual summer two-week learning session at Jemicy School, where they worked on reading and writing skills. Here are a few comments from our students . . . Demi made the Honor Roll for the first time at her school in Baltimore City.  She is very happy and said, “I couldn’t have done this without DTP!” Excellent work Demi! Congratulations to Khalil, who graduated from high school in June. He has recently joined the Marines!  We wish him much success and hope that he will be safe serving our country. Breon’s mom wrote us about him.  “Breon has gotten so tall. He is such an awesome young man.  He will be 21 this year.  He works as a substitute teacher at Celebree Childcare.  He has been there about four years.  If it wasn’t for the help that you and Dyslexia Tutoring Program provided him, I’m not sure he would be where he is.  I will be forever grateful to you and the program.” Nathaniel has graduated from The Gow School and has begun studies at Pace University in New York City, where he is majoring in International Business Management.  He is in the new DTP video and says, “The skills that DTP and The Gow School have taught me . . . Hopefully I can take these along with me for the rest of my life and be able to do good things with them.”  Three of his younger brothers are currently DTP students in the DTP-Morgan Partnership program.  His older brother Christian, who is also in the Gala video, was one of the first students that we sent to The Gow School Summer Camp program. We are very proud of all of our students, and we love when you let us know how you are doing! As we start our 36th year, at this time it is even more important to continue raising funds so that we may continue providing free services to our students.  Although our students are in school virtually, they are in large classes. Our students need the one-on-one tutoring so they will not fall further behind in their reading. We hope that many of you who want to contribute, but were not able to tune in to our virtual Gala, will consider going to our website and click the Donate button on the home page. We plan to have our radio ads in November, hopefully to attract more tutors, as we have a number of students we want to match with a tutor.  Also, we are planning a virtual training so we can provide more tutors. At this time, because of Covid-19, DTP remains prudent, and the staff is working remotely.  I work remotely but do go to the office for a few days each week.  Unfortunately, due to the need to work remotely, we have needed to make some staff changes.  Jean, Bob, and I—as we call ourselves “The Three Amigos”—have continued our work to make sure that DTP is carrying on our mission to provide these most-needed services. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the office at 410-889-5487. Wishing you all a happy and safe fall season. Best wishes, Marcy CEO

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