We Know How You Feel....We've Been There...
We are reading interventionists with diverse backgrounds in psychology, research, and special education.We know you're striving to provide high-quality intervention for your struggling readers. You research all the activities, read books and articles, spend all your free time planning out your sessions and activities hoping to truly engage your students. You make a real difference every single day, but you're tired and you're worried that maybe you aren't doing everything you could to help these students because you simply don't have everything you need to make it happen. It's not your fault, we've been there. We want to thank you for what you do. You are changing lives. We want to make that feat easier.
We lacked confidence as interventionists, we were being entrusted with teaching one of the most valuable skills a student would ever learn and we didn't always feel like we knew what we were doing. We had attended great trainings but often left feeling more overwhelmed than empowered. We were just getting by trying to find new relevant material every single week and we were absolutely exhausted. We knew our students deserved more than we were giving.
We wanted to provide lessons that were truly individualized to each of our students needs but we couldn't keep recreating the wheel every single week. We knew that if we couldn't find a way to provide individualized evidence-based reading intervention we might be the reason a child didn't reach his or her full potential and we couldn't live with that.
While there were structured programs out there, they were generally too expensive, too difficult to follow, or offered a limited one-size fits all approach. We realized that if a program existed that was attainable and would allow us to truly meet our students where they were, that was easy to follow, and didn't require hours of searching for supplemental activities we would be able to make such a greater impact. We knew these students deserved perfection in our attempt to give them the skills and strategies they needed.
After years of working through programs like Wilson, Hill Center, Traditional Orton-Gillingham, Multisensory Reading and Spelling, Spire, Barton, Slingerland (just to name a few) we decided to take what we loved about each of these and combine them into something that felt authentic. We don't want other educators, interventionists, therapists, or parents of struggling readers to feel hopeless like we did. We would love to invite you to be a part of it.
Becky Newell, M.Ed. is the Director of Product Development. Becky has a masters degree in education from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With over 10 years of education experience and extensive training in the Orton-Gillingham approach from the Windward School in White Plains NY, The Hill Center in Durham NC, and under renowned OG fellows, Becky is dedicated to helping children with dyslexia learn how to read, develop self-confidence and grow as learners. Becky has worked as an interventionist at Children’s Hospital Colorado where she worked with a wide range of of different learning needs.
Becky was diagnosed with dyslexia in 6th grade and struggled to learn how to read. She openly talks with her students about the difficulty of learning how to read and spell as well as the strengths that come with having dyslexia. First and foremost, Becky’s approach is a strengths based approach and building on the child’s strengths she works to systematically remediate the reading and spelling weaknesses.
Corey Pollard, M.S. is part of the curriculum design team. She has a background in educational assessments and is most interested in how educational assessment impacts and influences the intervention program and loves bringing data and science into the intervention setting. She also works as an interventionist supporting students who struggle with reading, writing, math, and executive functioning. Corey has a Master's of Science in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.
Corey has a background in research and assessment of children with Autism and Down Syndrome from Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University. She also has specific training in neuropsychology and speech-language pathology. Corey spent two years working with Dr. Bruce Pennington at the University of Denver on studies evaluating the genetic and phenotypic markers of dyslexia and has presented independently conducted research on the outcomes of students with dyslexia in an outpatient therapy program at the International Dyslexia Association national conference.
Corey has training in Wilson, Fundations, Orton-Gillingham, Handwriting without Tears, and many other programs to support struggling students.
Mikayla Storey, B.A. - is part of the design team and is head of the marketing and Smart ALEC community pages. More awesome information about Mikayla is coming soon!