edWeb.net and Learning Ally launch Empowering Struggling Readers PLC

learning allyedWeb.net and Learning Ally, a national nonprofit serving students with learning and visual disabilities, announce the launch of Empowering Struggling Readers, a free professional learning community to assist educators in fostering academic success and a love of reading for their students with dyslexia and specific learning disabilities.

It is estimated that 17% of U.S. schoolchildren – 85 million students – may have dyslexia, while 85% of students with learning disabilities have dyslexia alone or with other conditions. Far too many children with reading disabilities like dyslexia either go unidentified or receive ineffective assistance. Without proper help, many of these children will needlessly struggle in school and be poorly positioned for success as adults. This new professional learning community was created to support K-12 general education teachers and special education teachers, reading specialists, administrators, curriculum leaders, technology specialists, and media specialists who are looking for new and better ways to help educate dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students.

Empowering Struggling Readers provides a forum where educators can connect with others from around the world who are actively seeking ideas and insights for creating confident, independent readers. The professional learning community provides an easy way for educators to collaborate to advance support for all readers through early identification for dyslexia and learning disabilities, multi-sensory reading instruction, and the use of assistive technology to empower learners. In addition, free webinars are presented by curriculum leaders and teachers. edWeb.net provides CE certificates to educators who attend these live events or watch their recordings. This certification of participation helps educators get credit for engaging in personalized professional learning.

The community’s first webinar was held on July 26th and was attended live by more than 800 educators. “How to Support Dyslexic Students in Your School” was presented by Terrie Noland, National Director, Educator Engagement & Initiatives for Learning Ally. The one-hour presentation provided information on why students struggle and what to look for as well as steps to take to support dyslexic students with appropriate accommodations and interventions. The recording of the webinar is available for on-demand viewing.

The community’s next free webinar, “Assistive Technology for Struggling Readers,” will be presented on Thursday, August 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. During this live, interactive session, Mike Marotta, an Assistive Technology Consultant, will share a broad range of low- and high-tech applications – including free solutions – to support students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

“Student success begins with reading success,” said Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb. “We’re so delighted that Learning Ally launched this community on edWeb to provide educators with the skills and tools they need to turn struggling readers into successful readers. We look forward to presenting this program with Learning Ally to encourage and support students who otherwise wouldn’t love reading.”

“We are very excited to work with edWeb.net to expand our commitment to reach and engage with educators across the country by sharing valuable content to help them work with struggling readers and also share Learning Ally’s solutions,” said Cindy Cortina, Vice President of Education Solutions for Learning Ally.

Educators are invited to join the free Empowering Struggling Readers professional learning community on edWeb.net for invitations to upcoming webinars, online discussions, and access to resources.

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