Children’s Dyslexia Center, Valley of Dayton – History and Mission

The Children’s Dyslexia Center, Valley of Dayton, was established in 1999.  It belongs to a family of tutoring centers established in 1994 by the nonprofit Learning Centers for Children, Inc., in collaboration with the Language Disorders Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital. The mission of the Centers is to remediate dyslexia, a neurologically-based, often hereditary disorder, which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language, including phonological processing in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes in arithmetic.  Dyslexia is NOT a learning disability, but a processing disability.

Although dyslexia has devastating academic and social repercussions for children, it is not always systematically treated in public schools.  This is where the Children’s Dyslexia Center, Valley of Dayton, steps in.  Our teaching is modeled after the Orton-Gillingham method, which uses a structured, sequential, multi-sensory and phonetic approach.  With this method, we teach children diagnostically and individually.  Students learn the structure of the English language using auditory, visual and kinesthetic pathways.  Students receive one-on-one tutoring twice a week after school for 50 minutes per session.  Every attempt is made to keep the student with the same tutor throughout the program, which contributes to the success of the child.  Thus, every child benefits from a continuity and focus that cannot be duplicated in a public school environment. The no-cost remediation program offered at the Children’s Dyslexia Center often results in significant gains in reading level, even during the first year of this two-year program.

Our service is offered to children, aged 6 to 18, without regard to race, color, sex, creed, sect, or Masonic affiliation.  The only requirement is a documented diagnosis of dyslexia.  We have had students from Auglaize, Clark, Darke, Fayette, Greene, Hamilton, Madison, Miami, and Montgomery counties.

In addition to tutoring children, we provide tuition-free training to schoolteachers and other college graduates leading to initial certification as tutors in the Orton-Gillingham approach.  Requirements for certification include 45 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of practicum work at the Center, tutoring two children twice a week under the supervision of qualified professionals. The Center also gives free training for advanced Orton-Gillingham certification. This program provides practicing educators with Continuing Education Units (CEU) credit.  Some of these tutors are hired by the Dayton Learning Center, but more importantly, many then go out into the community and tutor children on their own.  It is estimated that each tutor has a positive impact on 15 students per year.  The Center has trained and certified 42 tutor trainees at the initial level and 9 at the advanced level.

The Children’s Dyslexia Center, Valley of Dayton is, and always will be, an invaluable community resource offering hope to the entire family. There is no greater stress for a parent than when a child is faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem. The collateral damage of a bright mind that cannot master the decoding process affects the welfare and well being of the entire community in dramatic and often negative ways.  Our families enter the Center doors discouraged and overwhelmed, only to emerge as confident, knowledgeable graduates, empowered with a new sense of self-assurance and excitement about the future they feared was unattainable for their children and themselves.  We provide unparalleled instruction; but more importantly, by educating the entire family and their teachers… we make dreams come true.

Since opening in 1999, with an initial enrollment of 12 students, and through the end of fiscal tear 2014, the Center has graduated 270 children and assisted an estimated 380 children.  However, there are currently 71 children on our waiting list. This is effectively a wait of 2 1/2 years or more before a Center tutor becomes available to teach them.  The need for our program is clear.