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Leadership and the Power of School Relationships

In the last few weeks I've visited five schools in four states. Each of them educates large numbers of students from low-income homes and students of color, and each is either high-performing or on an impressive improvement trajectory.

The schools are different in lots of ways, but one thing characterizes them all: Teachers, principals, and other administrators work hard at building trusting relationships that help create a sense of agency and purpose.

Here are three examples of what I mean:

Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney Has Advice for Kids About "Ear Reading"

Super author Jeff Kinney, best known for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Wimpy Kid movies, does not have dyslexia, nor do his children, but he champions reading audiobooks! In fact, he personally only reads audiobooks as an alternative to traditional print.

Listening to audiobooks is reading, says Kinney. This view refutes claims by some to the contrary. In the video clip that follows he talks more about that and offers other insights about the benefits for all of this book format.

"Falling Letters" Animated Short Depicts Learning Differences

The Swedish animated short, "Falling Letters (Bokstavsbarn)," (4:14 min) by Erik Rosenlund depicts a child who learns differently. In this case, some of the character's everyday actions turn out awkwardly or set them apart socially from peers.

The ending offers a heartwarming reminder of the power that parents, guardians, and teachers or helping personnel can have when simple support is needed for reassurance in trying times. The imagery can be especially valuable for young children who compare themselves with others and are saddened by their personal differences.

New Open eBook App Just Out. Is It Accessible?

The Open eBooks app debuted this week creating access to digital books for children in need. Right out of the box, there are questions on social media about accessibility features. That is a good thing. Many ebooks are not accessible or accessible enough for seriously struggling readers.

Captions Support Readers Across America: Free Resources from DCMP Celebrate Dr. Seuss!

Teachers get ready to contribute in your own way to the literacy festivities ahead. Join the Defined and Caption Media Program's (DCMP) 11th annual Read Captions Across America (RCAA) event!

NEA Partner

Book Battle Is On: Grow The Accessible Book Supply! Be Inclusive of More SPED Readers

Get ready for the Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) that begins March 9. Schools, parent groups, and librarians nationwide work together to put on this "book-centric" equivalent to basketball's exciting March Madness tournament.

8 New, Nearly New Dyslexia Resources Support Struggling Readers + Teachers Who Serve Them

Teachers, parents, and students should be seeing subtle and obvious changes in how dyslexia is identified and how educational services are delivered in schools.

8 Reliable Sources Share Apps That Create Access to Curriculum Content Across Grade Levels

Access to instruction means everything if struggling readers are to keep pace with their grade-level peers. AIM-VA blog readers love our stories about chosen apps and websites that help to by-pass textbooks, trade books or other traditional learning materials in print when they prove to be barriers to learning.

Illustrator Jerry Pinkney, Who Attributes Successes to Dyslexia, Wins Dual Awards from ALA

Pinkney Wins Dual ALA Awards in 2016

"I truly believe dyslexia made me the achiever I am in my art, and it made me who I am as a person," said children's book illustrator Jerry Pinkney to Jane Wallace for an article for the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. Pinkney won two prestigious awards at the 2016 Youth Media Awards on Jan. 11 in Boston. They are the:

Banner Year for Dyslexia in 2015 Will Fuel Progress in 2016, Says Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity

2015 was a banner year for all who care about what happens to dyslexic boys, girls, men and women, according to Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity (YCDC) Co-Directors Bennett Shaywitz, MD and Sally Shaywitz, MD.

Open Doors

"Truly, the door has opened and light is beginning to come in for dyslexia," writes the YCDC team in an email. The doctors are referring to a changing landscape for dyslexics thanks to efforts from many people. These include researchers, educators, parents and legislators.

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"This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again. " — Oscar Wilde