Dyslexia is a learning disability that causes unexpected difficulty when reading and affects 15% of the U.S. population, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. For individuals and families struggling with dyslexia in Centre County, there is a local nonprofit dedicated to helping them succeed. 

Dyslexia Reading Center (DRC) offers evidence-based reading and writing instruction in one-on-one individualized tutoring sessions to meet the needs of children and adults in the community with dyslexia. They train tutors in how to deliver effective instruction and advocate for a greater understanding of dyslexia in educational settings. 

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and part of DRC’s mission is to educate the public about this learning disability. Katharine Donnelly Adams is the board president of this organization and stresses the importance of Dyslexia Awareness Month.

“The more the public is aware of dyslexia and the importance of early screening, intervention, and evidence-based instruction, the better for us all,” said Katharine. 

At DRC, the tutoring program is the core of their nonprofit. Tutors personalize lessons for each student to achieve their highest potential and succeed. They are trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of multisensory teaching in reading, writing, and spelling. This method incorporates auditory, visual, and kinesthetic information to maximize a student’s ability to store and retrieve written words effectively.

“Our tutors are so well informed and trained, and they are always looking for ways to learn more about how to better serve their students,” Katharine added.

Katharine, along with other board members, wears many hats to help support the organization and the students they serve.

“We are a small organization, so when a board member has expertise in an area, they jump in and help out. I consult with tutors on assessment results, instructional plans, and how reading and dyslexia research informs our practices. Every now and then, I even teach a small group of students,” she said.

What Katharine wants the community to know about DRC is that though they may be small, there is tremendous passion behind the organization.

“We are tiny but mighty. At our core, we are a group of parents and teachers who want children to learn to read, and we will do everything in our power to make that happen,” she said.

Katharine goes on to describe what being a part of this organization means to her.

“It is an honor to be a part of an organization that does such fine work and remains true to its mission. I am energized by the discussions I have with tutors and families about how best to help a child take the next step in learning to read. I am proud of all of our graduates who are out in the community flourishing,” she said.

Visit DRC’s website to learn more about this nonprofit and how they are helping individuals with dyslexia around the county.

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