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Children with reading difficulties benefit from $11,000 CFCC grant

Bright Beginnings Preschool has received an $11,000 grant from Community Foundation for Cloud County (CFCC) to start and early literacy/dyslexia program for children ranging from preschool to sixth grade.
"This was an opportunity to help children overcome reading difficulties so they are more successful, not only in school but in life. It's a program that's going to directly help children, so we were excited to be a part of it," CFCC executive director Bob Steimel said.
Bright Beginnings staff members Bobbie McWhorter and Jen Yoder have been training through the Fundamental Learning Center in Wichita with a new curriculum called Sound Case.
Screenings for early literacy difficulties and dyslexia usually cost $25 per child, but with the assistance of the grant from the CFCC, parents and guardians are able to have their child screened for $5 per child.
The Bright Beginnings staff is not only trained on the screening process for literacy difficulties but also to tutor students with early literacy difficulties, including dyslexia.
"We wouldn't have been able to give the community this opportunity if it wasn't for the Community Foundation for Cloud County. By rewarding Bright Beginnings with this literacy grant, the CFCC is investing our children, and for that we are extremely grateful," McWhorter said.
Bright Beginnings encourages parents and guardians with literacy concerns to call 785-243-1439 to set up an appointment.
Screenings will be conducted throughout the month of March at the Concordia Lutheran Church, where Bright Beginnings is located.
The goal of the program is to help find literacy difficulties, and then to help the students overcome those difficulties.
Along with the screening and tutoring, the Bright Beginnings staff will also communicate with parents on the signs of literacy delays, including dyslexia.
"It is important to be proactive because literacy can impact much more than just reading skills. We hope parents with children ranging from preschool to sixth grade will contact us if they have any literacy concerns.
Characteristics to look for to determine if a child is a candidate for the screenings include:
Oral language area: difficulty in the following; pronouncing words, acquiring vocabulary/using age-appropriate grammar, following directions, learning the alphabet, learning nursery rhymes/songs, understanding concepts/relationships; word retrieval/naming problems, later in learning to talk and confusion with before/after or right/left.
Reading: difficulty in the following; learning to read, identifying rhyming words, counting syllables, hearing and manipulation sounds in words, distinguishing different sounds in words, learning the sounds in letter, remembering names and shapes of letters and naming letters rapidly, transposing the order of letters when reading or spelling, misreading or omitting common short words, stumbles through longer works, poor reading comprehension during oral or silent reading, slow laborious oral reading.
Written language: difficulty putting ideas on paper, many spelling mistakes, may do well on weekly spelling test but may have many spelling mistakes in daily work, difficulty proofreading.
Other common characteristics (specifically for dyslexia aspect): weak memory for list/directions/facts, distracted by visual or auditory stimuli, inconsistent school work, poor or slow handwriting, mess/unorganized, difficulty copying, struggles with fine motor skills, difficulty memorizing and retrieving facts.

Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901