The Moose Jaw Public Library is encouraging everyone to wear red on Wednesday, Oct. 20 to commemorate Dyslexia Awareness Day.
“October celebrates the 20% of those diagnosed with dyslexia,” says children’s librarian, Tina Dolcetti.
There will be free red kits available for checkout for three weeks at a time after October 20th. Each one will have a decodable textbook, different coloured bookmarks to try out, a calendar for the year and a promotional item from the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).
Dyslexia can affect an individual in a number of ways when it comes to learning how to read and spell.
At times, the words on a page can confuse children since the words look as though they are moving or floating, explained Dolcetti. Holding a coloured see-through bookmark over the words makes it easier for them to read; the contrast between the black words and white page distracts and makes it hard for their brain to process the words.
According to the National Health Service, there are 107 different constellation of symptoms. A child can have 6 or 7 of the symptoms or even a hundred of them at a time.
In recognition with the above, the library also has a brand-new series of books called, “Simple Words Decodable Books” that will be made available on their bookshelves. This series has been intentionally written to help readers with dyslexia or other reading challenges thrive.
The books specifically develop a skill progression. They are aligned with explicit, systematic phonics instruction. They have stories constructed using almost exclusive words that are phonetically decodable, using letters and letter-groups that children have learned in early phonics lessons.
“I’m surprised to find that the process is more difficult than what I thought it would be,” and “We really try to do our due diligence in purchasing things that will be helpful for others and meet the needs of our community while also being sensitive to the cultural environment of today,” commented Dolcetti.
There is a process to finding these meaningful books. When the library is choosing those that children would find beneficial, they keep in mind that children’s needs vary from child to child.
The process of ordering them is taking a look through the recommended books online and seeing if the libraries supplier carries them.
“This was definitely a little bit of a process trying to purchase quality materials. We looked into recommendations from dyslexia Canada and a variety of different sources. It wasn’t actually a simple process; we are still looking at better ways to order these meaningful books,” says Dolcetti.
There is already a high level of need for these books. They just arrived a few days ago and already people are checking a consistent amount of them out.
The library also offers access to CELA. For the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) parents are encouraged to use it if they believe their children could possibly have a learning or reading disability; they only have to self declare having one with no requirement to show proof or paperwork.
A whole variety of materials can be accessed through CELA and educators can also sign up for CELA on behalf of their class if they believe that they have children with learning disabilities, sign up as a teacher and you can get free access to these resources. All you need is a library card.
If anyone has any questions about Dyslexia Awareness Day you are welcome to call the library and speak to Tina Dolcetti, Children’s librarian.
If people want to donate to broadening the phonics books for dyslexia, the Friends of the Library have a donation box at the front. The Friends of the Library engage with projects that increase everyone’s learning.