Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement

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Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.


Bat Mitzvah Project: Raising awareness for students with dyslexia
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January 16, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

The Goslin FamilyJessie G., a 12-year-old has dyslexia and she has made it her mission to educate others about her difficulties with reading and spelling. She works hard every day to succeed in school, many times studying twice as hard as her peers.  In fact, her teachers marvel at her solid work ethic. 

Jessie views dyslexia as a gift.  Due to the fact that she thinks a little differently, dyslexia has afforded her the creativity to act, sing, dance, play the bass guitar and write her own songs.

Jessie loves all things music and Broadway!  She has been acting since the age of 6 and is serious about her craft.  Along with Leggings for a Reason, Jessie is excited to have inspired the design for comfy and fun leggings that reflect who she is and what she hopes to achieve in life!  Leggings for a Reason

Jessie is committed to raising social awareness for We're all made of stars, we're all made of dreams" Jessie's leggings have a cute musical theme and they feature her favorite quote from Finding Neverland. 

In partnership with Leggings for a Reason, Jessie will donate 100% of profits from the sale of these leggings to Learning Ally for her Mitzvah project, a meaningful, good deed Jessie has chosen as part of her journey towards becoming a Bat Mitzvah in March of 2018.

Support Jessie's dream and Bat Mitzvah project and purchase leggings that will inspire the dancer in your child.

Leggings for a reason logo


Are you doing extraordinary things in support of students who struggle to read? Send us an email at allkidscanread@learningally.org and we'll help to spread the word.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

 

Read More about Bat Mitzvah Project: Raising awareness for students with dyslexia

Great Reading Games vs. Winter Olympics
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January 16, 2018 by Jenny Falke

Learning Ally's Great Reading Games will end just before the 2018 Winter Olympics. Olympians and audiobook readers alike will go after the gold over the next two months and we've taken inventory of all the interesting facts and details. How does Learning Ally’s Great Reading Games, where schools read to succeed, compare to the 2018 Winter Olympics?

  Olympics Great Reading Games
Place PyeongChang, South Korea All over the United States
Dates February 9-25, 2018 January 8th – February 23rd , 2018
Awards A record 102 medals will be awarded in 15 disciplines. 300 welcome kits were mailed out containing thousands of individual motivation trinkets for students.
13 schools will receive gift cards, headphones, Chromebooks, prize packs and more.
10 students will receive top honors and prizes.
Certificates are available for EVERY student competing in the games.
Participation A total of 89 teams have qualified at least one athlete so far.
An expected 2900+ athletes will be competing.
School Goal: 1500 schools participating
Student Goal: 20,000 students reading
Pages Read Goal: 6,000,000
Fact 1: Interesting Rule The NHL announces no break in the 2017-2018 schedule for participation in the PyeongChang Games. Players part of NHL teams will not be allowed to participate in the games. ALL students in a school membership that qualify for Learning Ally can participate in the games.
Fact 2: The Beginning October 31st, 2017 - The flame arrives in the Republic of Korea, 100 days before the Games are scheduled to begin. November 16th, 2017 - Early sign up begins.
Fact 3: Awards The Olympics is in the business of giving awards. The Great Reading Games is not only in the business of giving awards but the games have been recognized for an innovation in reading honor as well.
Fact 4: Participants From 1912-1948, artists participated in the Olympics: Painters, sculptors, architects, writers, and musicians competed for medals in their respective fields. Watch this video to see the aspiring  painters, sculptors, architects, writers,  musicians, athletes, actors, engineers, educators, service professionals and MORE that will be able to compete in life because of access to learning.
Fact 5: Celebrities The following celebrities have competed in the Olympics: Dolph Lundgren (breakout role in Rocky IV),  Hillary Wolf (sister in Home Alone), Bob Anderson (stuntman for Star Wars), Jason Statham, Geena Davis, Johnny Weissmuller (original Tarzan). The following authors/celebrities have supported the Great Reading Games: Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Lauren Tarshis (I Survived), Robert Beatty (Serafina), Malcolm Mitchell (SuperBowl Champion).

 

Download a printable PDF of the GRG18 and 2018 Olympics comparison. Cheer on the readers with #GRG18 on Twitter and Instagram.

Sign up or view the leaderboad at LearningAlly.org/GreatReadingGames.


Bring Learning Ally's Proven Ed-Tech Solution to Your School

Learning Ally is a cost-effective solution to help your students who read below grade level boost their vocabulary, comprehension and test scores. Our extensive library of human-read audiobooks includes core content, is easy to set up, and fits into your existing curriculum.

Learn how you can transform the lives of your struggling readers. Sign up for a demo, call 800-221-1098, or email programs@LearningAlly.org.

 

Read More about Great Reading Games vs. Winter Olympics

Coffee and Learning Ally Audiobooks
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January 15, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

 

By guest blogger, Anthony Anastacio of Anthony's Italian Coffee and Chocolate House

Anthony Anastacio and FamilyWe are inspired by the resilience and determination of our 10-year-old daughter who has successfully learned to read using Learning Ally’s educational solutions.  Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten, our daughter struggled with learning to read by being taught with ineffective reading programs in school for years. After receiving the proper programs, with the proper implementation and consistent classroom accommodations, our daughter has overcome dyslexia, learning to successfully read, just like many other children with dyslexia when given the proper tools. Yet many simply are not afforded that opportunity.  

As a father, it hurt so much to see my very smart child struggle to read.  My wife and I  did everything we could to help our daughter reach her educational goals.   We really felt like no one was listening to us, as we watched her falling through the cracks of a failing educational system. That is when we took matters into our own hands. My wife and I decided to move our child out of public school and into a Catholic school that used different learning styles to accommodate every child’s learning needs.   We also discovered Learning Ally educational tools and resources and now we can’t get our daughter to stop reading. We truly are grateful for Learning Ally and now we see our daughter reading, learning, and socializing regarding the books she's reading in class.  Her self-esteem and confidence levels have increased significantly since using Learning Ally and we really couldn’t ask for a better feeling. 

Image of the Italian Coffee House ChocolatesAs a small business owner, my wife and I thought maybe we can help give back to an organization that has done so much for our family.  As most of you know dyslexia is the #1 learning disability in our schools, impacting nearly 20% of our students.  Yet many students continue to be misidentified and misdiagnosed because dyslexia is misunderstood still today. We now know that students can overcome dyslexia with the proper reading programs and classroom accommodations.  With 1 in 5, odds are you or someone you know has dyslexia...they're our children, our family and our friends. The mind of people with dyslexia are the most creative and innovative and they are often the hardest working, most resilient people you know.  Children with dyslexia have inspired us to create the Coffee for a Cause campaign.  A campaign honoring and supporting even more students struggling with dyslexia to read using Learning Ally educational tools and services.
  
Our 2018 Goal is to raise $13,500 for 100 children who are dyslexic, to gain access to Learning Ally’s audiobook solution for one full year.  We created a special coffee blend for 2018, Caffe di Causa, a full-bodied coffee, yet smooth with finishing notes of dark chocolate and roasted nuts.  This coffee is symbolic of the Inca Empire, whose people devised unconventional ways to achieve success and thrive, despite lacking many of the tools associated with civilization during that time period.
 
Sales from this Coffee Blend will benefit Children with Dyslexia, who are often denied the specific tools in learning to read, yet find ways to achieve success.  Approx. $2.35 from the sale of each pound will be donated to Learning Ally.  If you prefer to support our fundraiser and get us to our goal even faster, please make your best gift today!
 


Are you doing extraordinary things in support of students who struggle to read? Send us an email at allkidscanread@learningally.org and we'll help to spread the word.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

 

Read More about Coffee and Learning Ally Audiobooks

2017 Lone Star Reading List
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January 12, 2018 by Jenny Falke

Learning Ally is thrilled to provide in our human-read audiobook library this list of highly renowned titles by school and public librarians. This list was created with students in middle grades in mind, but many other age levels, besides just teens, will enjoy them! The following are just a handful of the first round of books completed from the 2017 Lone Star Reading List.


The Magic MirrorThe Magic Mirror : Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King and a Pickpocket Squirrel
by Susan Hill Long
Grades 3-7 | 800L

The twisty-turny journey of a girl searching for her heart's desire glimpsed in a magic mirror.



Choosing CourageChoosing Courage : Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero
by Peter Collier
Grades 4-8 | 1150L

How does an ordinary person become a hero? It happens in a split second, a moment of focus and clarity, when a choice is made. Here are the gripping accounts of Medal of Honor recipients.


Love and GelatoLove and Gelato
by Jenny Evans Welch
Grade 7+ | 640L

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this New York Times bestselling debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.


Longbow GirlLongbow Girl
by Linda Davies
Grades 7-9 | 700L

Set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, the brave and beautiful longbow girl, Merry Owen, discovers a river that takes her back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry VIII.


Zero DayZero Day
by Jan Gangsei
Grades 7-12 | 680L

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie is brought back into her family's fold... but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House?


The Lone Star Reading List is curated by school and public librarians who are part of the Young Adult Round Table in the Texas Library Association and the 2017 and 2016 titles are made available to Learning Ally readers through the generous support of the Reading Resource Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas.


Bring Learning Ally's Proven Ed-Tech Solution to Your School

Learning Ally is a cost-effective solution to help your students who read below grade level boost their vocabulary, comprehension and test scores. Our extensive library of human-read audiobooks includes core content, is easy to set up, and fits into your existing curriculum.

Learn how you can transform the lives of your struggling readers. Sign up for a demo, call 800-221-1098, or email programs@LearningAlly.org Public and charter Texas schools, visit: LearningAlly.org/Texas.

Read More about 2017 Lone Star Reading List

Black History and the Civil Rights Movement on Audiobooks
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January 10, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Read about America's rich and dynamic history from the perspective of Black Americans. The Civil Rights movement began a groundswell of change and gave voice to the cause of equal rights for all that continues in our country to the present day. Learn about our neighbors' struggles, challenges, and triumphs as diverse cultures have come together to define America's history. Here are a few audiobooks we recommend that students will enjoy reading as they learn about American leaders.

I have a Dream

 

MLK - I have a dream

by Martin Luther King Jr.,
Recommended Grade Levels: All
On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. 


 

Autobiography of Malcolm X

by Malcolm X
Recommended for Grade Levels: 9 and up
The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.


 

Letter from Birmingham Jail

by Martin Luther King Jr.
Recommended for Grade Levels: 7 and up
"The Letter from Birmingham Jail" is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.


 

The Port Chicago 50

by Steve Sheinkin
Recommended for Grade Levels: 6 and up
Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin shares a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II.


 

Freedom on the Menu

by Carole Boston Weatherford; Jerome Lagarrigue (Illustrator)
recommended for Grade Levels: 4 - 8
Eight-year-old Connie is too young to march or give a speech, she helps her brother and sister make signs for the cause. Changes are coming to Connie’s town, but Connie just wants to sit at the lunch counter and eat a banana split like everyone else.


 

Who Was Rosa Parks?

by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Recommended for Grade Levels: 3 - 7
In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. This seemingly small act triggered civil rights protests across America and earned Rosa Parks the title Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.


 

Gone Crazy in Alabama

by Rita Williams-Garcia, Recommended for Grade Levels: 3 - 7
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it's like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime. 


 

Freedom Songs

by Trina Robbins
Recommended for Grade Levels: 2 - 3
Fourteen-year-old Sarah is a slave in Maryland during the 1850s. She knows her only chance at freedom is to head North, where slavery is illegal. To get there, though, Sarah needs help from members of the Underground Railroad. But who can she trust?


Aunt Clara Brown

by Linda Lowery
Grade Level: 2 - 3
In 1859 Clara bought her own freedom and headed west to Colorado to find her daughter, who was sold when she was just a little girl. Clara didn't find her daughter there, but she did get rich, and she became known as Aunt Clara Brown.


Frederick Douglas

William Miller
Recommended for Grade Level: 1 - 4
Born into slavery young Frederick dreams of the day he and his people will be free. Yet until that day comes, his only escape is through the books he reads, which take him to worlds far from his own. 


Got a book list suggestion? Send your ideas to: allkidscanread@learningally.org and help us get you the books you want and need to read.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

 

Read More about Black History and the Civil Rights Movement on Audiobooks