Stephen Gaynor School has used components of the Orton-Gillingham approach since its founding in 1962. According to the school’s Co-Founder Yvette Siegel-Herzog, “I was taught O-G at Columbia, and I then taught O-G to children. We incorporated the elements of O-G along with other multisensory approaches from the very beginning, though our execution was more eclectic back in those days.”
Orton–Gillingham is a structured literacy approach. It involves the idea of breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time. The approach explicitly teaches the connections between letters and sounds, and is particularly effective in teaching those with dyslexia.
Stephen Gaynor School uses an individualized and multisensory approach throughout all subject areas, and the Orton-Gillingham approach is a natural fit, since the approach uses sight, hearing, touch, and movement to help students become confident, fluent readers.
Gaynor’s Orton-Gillingham Instructional Program was officially accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators in 1996, and was re-certified in 2022. As such, the school is an Organizational Member of the Academy and a member of the Academy’s Council of Accredited Programs — the only school in the New York metropolitan area to be so certified.
At Gaynor, the O-G approach is integrated throughout the curriculum and community. One of the ways in which the school ensures this community-wide approach is through intensive teacher training and mentoring during the school’s Summer Institute for teachers that precedes each academic year. In addition, the school also offers a two-day intensive O-G training for current parents.