To date, the Literacy Expansion project has been very productive in regards to both implementation and preparation for the expansion of BGC’s Literacy Centers throughout Portland. In order to properly staff each of our six Literacy Centers (4 of which are new locations) the Clubs implemented 7 new staff positions. These seven positions include Literacy Supervisors who are overseeing the programs at each site location and a Director of Literacy to oversee implementation and on-going operations of all sites.
To ensure proper implementation of the Slingerland Multisensory approach method of instruction, each of these seven staff completed a comprehensive six-week training conducted by a certified trainer from the Slingerland Institute for Literacy out of Bellevue, WA (www.slingerland.org). The six-week course provided staff with in-service instruction, working with a group of youth throughout the course of the training.
A separate one-week training was held for 50 additional staff from each of the Club locations, joined by the administrative staff and board members. This week long training was conducted by Dr. Nancy Rovai of the Reading and Dyslexia Center of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA. This training provided an overview of the Slingerland Multisensory Approach of instruction, a summation of the implementation, techniques, effectiveness, and a deeper understanding of dyslexia and the learning processes that benefit youth with dyslexia.
The past six months have also involved the planning, ordering of supplies and tools required for implementation, as well as restructuring and design of those program areas at each of the Clubs being converted into Literacy Centers.
Currently, we have expanded from two Literacy Centers to a total of six Centers located throughout the Portland Metro Area, with each of the Literacy Centers serving on average 150 youth per week.
In the Fall, the University of Oregon will begin a two year assessment of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland's Literacy Intervention programs, which will provide valuable outcomes and comparisons to demonstrate our success through the eyes of an objective party.
Perhaps our greatest success stories come from our children and parents, such as this note that came to us from a parent whose child has made tremendous success as a result of our Literacy programs, "I just wanted to drop a note to you. Liam is going to the honor society induction tonight and I wanted to write to you to express my heartfelt thanks for all that you do at your Literacy Center. I never thought in my most hopeful dreams that Liam would be doing so well in school. As a person with dyslexia myself when I was Liam's age I was illiterate and my school life was something I would never wish on anyone. Liam life, his accomplishments and his esteem are all a product of the Harris literacy program. Please know that we are eternally grateful. Yours Sincerely Lisa Q.