According to the Illinois State Board of Education’s report card in 2016, 2 out of every 3 third graders across the city of Chicago are failing to meet and exceed reading standards.
We want to dramatically change that.
Chicago Public Schools is experiencing a literacy crisis with disheartening implications for the social and economic development of our city and the future of our children. Research shows a distinct connection between the stresses of poverty and reading ability. Therefore, Redwood GROW wants to empower teachers in our public schools with the skills and training necessary to meet the learning needs of our youth. We want to be a part of bridging the gap and we need you to join us.
We firmly believe the research-based and highly effective Orton-Gillingham approach, historically limited to communities of affluence, can be adapted to the realities of the Chicago Public School environment, making it accessible to all learners, regardless of geographical limitations or socio-economic demographic. It has a universal design, meaning it supports all learners. Using the Wilson Reading System as our primary intervention curriculum and providing opportunities for teachers to undergo their rigorous, year-long certification process, we ensure the continuous improvement of growth in student literacy.
Redwood GROW is a non-profit born out of a desire to see research-based, structured reading intervention brought to children across the city of Chicago for FREE. How can this be accomplished? By certifying those who are already providing education to students every day, regardless of economic standing: Chicago Public School teachers! By equipping these incredible individuals with incredible literacy intervention tools, children with dyslexia and other literacy-based learning struggles can receive the intervention they need during their school day, for FREE.
redwood grow’s long-term vision
Every Chicago Public School has a team of certified Dyslexia Practitioners to work with the 20% of their students who need an Orton-Gillingham-based reading intervention. Students who need this intervention can receive it with fidelity, regardless of geography or income level.
Our vision for the 2019-2020 school year
Certify two teacher teams in the Rogers Park neighborhood, one at the elementary level (New Field Elementary) and one at the high school level (Sullivan High School). It is estimated that at least 100 students will be impacted by these teacher teams at each school, so approximately 200 students next year alone!
Redwood GROW will cover the costs for selected teachers to attend an introductory 3-day Wilson Reading System training, curriculum for their classrooms and the year-long practicum certification tuition to become certified Dyslexia Practitioners.
DATA COLLECTION & STIPEND
We need data to show how effective these programs are for students with literacy-based learning struggles. Thus, CPS teachers who go through our program will be offered a $1000 stipend each year, for up to three years, when they submit End-Of-Year student progress data. For something teachers already collect anyway, this is a great incentive to send it our way!
Redwood GROW provides year-long coaching and support to participating administrators and teacher teams for implementing intervention most effectively within their current schedule and structure.
Referral to Intensive Intervention
Redwood GROW is a sister organization to Redwood Literacy, whose mission is to provide affordable after-school and summer camp options for individuals who need intensive structured literacy intervention. If students receiving services at their school need a more intensive dose, our teachers will help families connect with Redwood Literacy or other certified Dyslexia Practitioners around the city.
As former Chicago Public School teachers and long-time educators, both Becky and Kait have had student after student in their public school classrooms who needed more than they were able to give during the school day in classrooms of 30+ students. Redwood is for them and for thousands of Chicago students who desperately need structured literacy intervention in order to reach their full potential as learners and contributors to our world.
Kaitlin Feriante is a Dyslexia Practitioner and Learning Behavior Specialist who is passionate about seeing ALL students, regardless of age, geographical location or socio-economic background learn how to read and write, equipping them to reach and show off their full potential.
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If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to be a part of this amazing initiative, please reach out to email@example.com OR give Kait a call at 312-813-5141.