Literacy for All: Equitable Practices for Reading and Dyslexia

elementary children and teacher reading intervention

In these three video presentations, teachers, administrators, and parents learn from the experts about how to identify students who are at risk for reading struggles in pre-k and early elementary school. You will also discover best practices for teaching all students to read, including those who need additional interventions.

Teaching students to read is the first job of our schools. How can we help all students become strong, confident readers?

Literacy for All: Equitable Practices for Reading and Dyslexia was held on February 20, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland. The event was hosted by National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL), Decoding Dyslexia Maryland (DD-MD), and community partners. Reading experts from NCIL shared best practices in early screening and interventions supported by decades of reading research.

Teachers, administrators, and parents learned how to identify the students who are at risk for reading struggles in pre-k and early elementary school. The experts also presented best practices for teaching all students to read, including those who struggle and need additional interventions.

The videos below showcase three key sessions from Literacy for All: Equitable Practices for Reading and Dyslexia.

Implementing strong screening, instruction, and interventions for reading

Presenter: Sarah Sayko

Sarah Sayko, M.Ed., Deputy Director of the National Center on Improving Literacy and Senior Research Associate at RMC Research Corporation in Arlington, VA.

This keynote session describes the resources the National Center on Improving Literacy can provide to schools and parents and the evidence base that supports screening, instruction, and intervention to increase literacy achievement for students who struggle to read and students with dyslexia. Find out about national efforts to improve achievement for students with dyslexia and access to resources for effectively implementing evidence-based literacy practices in school settings.

Screening for dyslexia and reading difficulties

Presenters: Kelli Cummings, Scott Szczerbiak, and Cortney Dvorak

Kelli Cummings, Ph.D., NCSP, Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Maryland, College Park/National Center on Improving Literacy; Scott Szczerbiak, Director of Special Education; and Cortney Dvorak, Supervisor of Instruction/Reading, St. Mary’s County Public Schools.

Figuring out which children may be at risk for reading difficulty before the onset of reading struggles is a primary goal of Maryland’s reading screening requirements. Many local school districts are reviewing reading screening protocols and establishing “response to screening” frameworks.

Dr. Cummings discusses the characteristics of strong reading screening assessments and investigate the pre-literacy and early literacy areas (or behaviors) that are predictive of future reading success. Learn about the universal reading screening partnership to identify at-risk readers and students with dyslexia, in order to better understand how to choose and implement a strong screening measure — with the goal to prevent reading failure.

Reading instruction and supplemental interventions to support equitable literacy development

Presenter: Jess Surles

Jess Surles, M.Ed., Professional Development Literacy Coach at the National Center on Improving Literacy.

Find out about evidence-based reading practices that can be used in response to screening to address students who show risks for reading difficulties or dyslexia. The session addresses the critical nature of core instruction and the essential components of reading that are central to early literacy development and reading success.

Learn how to deliver evidence-based instruction and will leverage effective intervention practices, identified by the Institute for Education Sciences and NCIL, to support struggling readers and students with dyslexia. The session also looks at students who demonstrate substantial need for reading intervention that has not been successfully remediated through high quality, explicit core instruction, and supplementary supports. You'll get have a solid understanding of how and why (a) using evidence-based practices during reading instruction and intervention can support students with dyslexia, and (b) using evidence-based practices to deliver reading instruction can lead to higher literacy outcomes for all children, including students with dyslexia.

About the National Center on Improving Literacy and Decoding Dyslexia Maryland

Decoding Dyslexia Maryland (DD-MD) is a grassroots organization that provides support and advocacy for effective reading and writing instruction in Maryland Public Schools.

National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) is a partnership among literacy experts, university researchers, and technical assistance providers, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. NCIL's mission is to increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.

NOTE: The research reported in these sessions is funded by a grant to the National Center on Improving Literacy from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs (Award #: S283D160003). The opinions or policies expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of OESE, OSEP, or the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal government. Copyright © 2020 National Center on Improving Literacy.

National Center on Improving Literacy, Decoding Dyslexia Maryland (2020)

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