Imagine being in the 4th grade. It's time for reading. "Students, turn to page 32 in your language arts book, please!" commands the teacher. "Sally, start with paragraph one and we'll all take turns reading aloud."
You start to sweat. Read aloud?!? But what if you don't know how to sound out the word? You stumble ...the class laughs ...you feel embarrassed, humiliated and very alone.
For the up to 1 in 5 students who struggle with reading due to dyslexia and related learning differences, this is a daily reality.
That's where the YES! Program comes in. . .
Learning Ally's YES! Program
, which stands for Youth Examples of Self-Advocacy, connects younger students who have dyslexia with older experienced mentor students, called Ambassadors, who also have dyslexia. It's a unique program because kids aren't just hearing from parents or adults - they are hearing from and interacting with other kids just like themselves.
"I walked into my first YES! event and I saw people wearing the same shirt as me. I thought 'there couldn't be this many of us!' And I was very happy to see that I'm not the only one." ~ Willa, age 11
The program was developed several years ago in Denver, Colorado and became so popular and successful that it has begun expanding into other states, including New Jersey; and now we're expanding into Massachusetts.
To learn more, join us for an informational session online:
YES! Program Massachusetts Intro Webinar
8:00 pm EST
Free (donor supported)
Detailed overview of the program including details on how you can get involved.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring the benefits of the YES! Program to a much larger group of students,” says Lissa True
, national founder of YES! and dyslexia parent. “We have seen firsthand how empowering strong self-advocacy skills have been in our own children."
Local Massachusetts parents and YES! Program Leaders Nicole McCarthy
and Ann Andrew
agree: “Dyslexic students struggle on a daily basis in school and this is their chance to get insight into their learning styles, connect with other students like themselves and feel part of a larger community. They will learn important skills like effective communication, self- advocacy and how to use assistive technology. And as YES! Ambassador leaders, they will use their experience and strengths to make a difference in the lives of other dyslexic students."
Learn more about the YES! Program from current students:
For more information, contact YES! program leader Lissa True.