In public schools, students can slip through the cracks in school, oftentimes through no fault of their own. Sometimes it happens because teachers need to stay “on track,” or because a student’s performance can be hindered in a large class when perhaps they would benefit most from individualized attention. According to Kate Adlin, co-director of the Community Learning Center at Gaynor, sometimes students simply need extra help when it comes to reading. That’s where the Community Learning Center (CLC) can not only be helpful, but critical in making a difference in students’ reading abilities and levels.
The CLC is partnered with two local public schools that help identify kindergarten students in need of extra tutoring and then refer them to Gaynor.
“[In the CLC] we look at students as the whole child. We’re able to see through the layers and identify what’s really going on,” says Adlin. “These are not necessarily kids who have difficulty with language processing or qualify for a school like Gaynor but who need a boost or are not getting what they need in a class of 25 or 30 students.”
Lessons occur in small groups and teachers draw on their extensive experience with the Orton-Gillingham method, directly supplementing the instruction students receive in their regular classrooms. While the CLC program increases reading skill and comprehension, in more rare instances, it can change the trajectory of a child’s academic career. In the case of Victoria, CLC volunteers recognized that perhaps there were additional factors at play. They made a recommendation to her parents to get a professional neuropsychological evaluation done. It turned out to be the right call.
“After a year of treatment (after she was diagnosed with severe ADHD) we are happy to say that your team changed her life forever,” her parents wrote in a thank-you email. “She’s so much better and you were right, she needed that help so much. Thank you again for doing your job with so much passion and interest for the kids.”
For more information about the Community Learning Center, check out: https://www.stephengaynor.org/student_life/community-learning-center/