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Date: June 22, 2009
Speech-Language Pathologists at Ravinia Reading Center Launch New Site About Dyslexia and Reading Development
Ravinia Reading Center, a local reading center in a suburb of Chicago, IL intends to help inform and encourage parents of struggling readers by publishing credible answers in a series of informative articles by Dr. Holly Shapiro. Dr Shapiro, Ravinia’s director, is a long-time phonics expert and speech language pathologist with a Ph.D. in Learning Disabilities.
Headlining the new website, which launched in May, is a water-color flash experience, guiding concerned parents through “The Struggle to Read.” The interactive journey begins learning about the nature of dyslexia and reading difficulty. From there, parents can learn how children build new language skills like phonics and phonemic awareness, to finally achievie reading fluency.
“The struggle to read is different for each child, but it’s always an uphill climb” says Ravinia Reading Center Executive Director Dr. Holly Shapiro. “Reading is a marvelously complicated skill and takes work to master. Literate adults take it for granted. They just need a reminder.”
In addition to the interactive feature, Dr. Shapiro has published in-depth articles on the site, including a reading primer for parents. Professionals in education and reading intervention may also find the article on reading fluency as a comprehension strategy a worthwhile read.
Most of the site’s content is focused on addressing common misunderstandings about dyslexia, and guiding parents to substantive, peer-reviewed dyslexia resources. “We just want to make sure parents get on the right path to help their children read fluently,” said Dr. Shapiro. “There are a lot of reputable programs and providers that provide dyslexia help.“
Reading intervention providers, along with educational publications, are welcome to submit their websites for inclusion in Ravinia’s online dyselxia resources. Dr. Shapiro personally reviews and edits the directory to ensure its quality.
Users can also turn to Ravinia’s Reading Blog for answers. The blog launched June 1st and invites visitors across the nation to “Ask a Speech-Language Pathologist” at Ravinia questions about reading intervention, programs and dyselxia. The dyslexia experts at Ravinia are even willing to offer personal guidance, privately via email.
“We get parents asking us all the time about dyslexia testing, mostly due to what they read online,” says Dr. Shapiro. “Through RaviniaReadingCenter.com and the blog, we’re publishing the answers I find myself repeating to parents on an almost daily basis.”
Despite all the reading struggles and concerns of worried parents, the theme of the new website is an encouraging one: “Reading is a Skill and it Can Be Taught.”
That theme emerged from conversations between Dr. Shapiro and Stay Frank (www.stayfrank.com), the new media communications firm she turned to to help find a voice for Ravinia. Stay Frank produced the entire online experience, and did so in a way that helped Ravinia Reading Center overcome an online marketplace of ideas that had been steeped heavily in favor of bad information.
“Search engines don’t have editors,” says Brint Crockett, owner of Stay Frank. “Google seems particularly bad at identifying reliable content in reading development and dyslexia. This was a major factor in our decision to publish worthwhile articles and resources at RaviniaReadingCenter.com.”
Posted by Eric Ward on 6/22/09
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