Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast committed to the development of teachers in the Hastings region.

Dyslexia Support MNC’s Kelly King and Reading is Rocket Science scholarship recipient Debbie Vanderveer.
Dyslexia Support MNC’s Kelly King and Reading is Rocket Science scholarship recipient Debbie Vanderveer.

Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast is committed to raising awareness for dyslexia, and delivering evidence based professional development for teachers in the Hastings region.

The ultimate goal is to improve educational outcomes for all students.

“Literacy is a basic human right, yet too many children struggle to acquire this necessary life skill,” said Dyslexia Support MNC’s Kelly King.

Thanks to funding from The Westport Club’s Community Grants program a second teacher will attend specialist literacy training in Coffs Harbour this September.

Local teacher Debbie Vanderveer was awarded the scholarship this year. The training brings together the science of reading and equips teachers with the skills to take evidence based research into educational practice.

“I feel very honoured to have this opportunity. I am incredibly excited and can’t wait to start,” she said.

:I look forward to being able to share this knowledge with the teachers in our region so we can better support the struggling readers in our classrooms.”

One in four Australian Year 4 students have literacy levels below the standard required for educational progress.

ABS data says 46 percent of 15 to 19 year olds are functionally illiterate and have inadequate literacy skills to cope with the basic demands of everyday work and life.

“The NSW government has made strong assertions on reading instruction and specifically phonics, yet this does not always translate to classroom practices,” Mrs King said.

“Not all approaches to teaching phonics are equally effective. Ultimately, we would like to see all schools adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check; a 5-minute screener that enables early identification of at-risk readers.

“This, supported by the implementation of systematic synthetic phonics instruction as part of the Big Six of reading in every classroom will ensure that no child is left behind.”

The Reading is Rocket Science Project brings us closer to achieving this goal by providing teachers with the skills to teach and reach every student in their classroom.