Nothing lifts us up more than hearing success stories from teachers, students, and parents who have experienced the life-changing results of our Do you have a story you want to share?
I wanted to share an awesome moment I just experienced listening to a student outside my office. He had just read a four-syllable word independently, ran to the nearest teacher to tell them the news, and then happily declared, 'I'M PROUD OF MYSELF!'"
At the end of last week, we had a Visualizing and Verbalizing student who was hiding in his hoodie saying, "I don't write. I can't write." Today, we have the same student writing outlines and summaries, sprinting down the hall to share his work with his teachers."
I just received a letter from a past student. She shared: 'My 8th-grade year has certainly been something. Academically I am doing the best I have ever done! I have almost all straight A's. I can't believe it has been almost five years since I was that little scared 4th grader learning how to read. You have no idea how much I appreciate you guys... [You] helped me become who I am today!
It's always great to end a day with an email from a professional saying, 'His reading has improved so much that I am no longer needed for his support! Are you guys trying to boot me into retirement early?!'"
I'm so happy to see his confidence continue to increase! He is reading above grade level and picking up novels to read at home, something his parents never thought would happen."
This girl, an 8th grader, [was] reading at what she described as, '...a 4th-grade reading level or something?' She now reports that she's '...reading at an 8th-grade level, my level, my actual grade level, for the first time literally ever in my whole life.'"
She said she hopes 'school takes care of my learning needs as much as Lindamood-Bell did.' I asked her about her personal goals and she told me, 'I'd like to be in regular reading placement.' I told her I'm rooting for her. I told her I'm insanely proud of her. This is the whole reason I do this job—so I could stand here and say she really did it!"
Learning Center Clinician
A wonderful 72-year-old student started instruction last week in order to regain his reading ability after a stroke a few years back. Today, he thanked me for challenging him and told me how invigorated he felt. He said he didn't want to stop. It's great to see him feel empowered and motivated, especially as he tackles something that was once very easy for him, but is now very hard."
My daughter struggled with identifying letters and matching them to sounds. She repeated Kindergarten twice to help her catch up on both reading and writing. During a parent/teacher conference, her teacher showed me her rendition of the alphabet. My daughter had stopped at the letter B and just drew faces in the boxes where each letter should have gone. I realized that she was avoiding the assignment because she couldn't "see" the letters. They didn't mean anything to her. By the end of her second year of Kindergarten, she hadn't progressed in her reading or letter identification. Her teacher told me that she was doing "okay," but every school day morning, she told me she didn't want to go. Her stomach hurt. She felt frustrated all the time. That's when I sought the help of Lindamood-Bell. Their comprehensive testing verified what I had been observing. She could hold two letters in her mind before they disappeared. She had trouble following instructions beyond two sequential steps. Lindamood-Bell suggested that she enroll in the Seeing Stars program.
From the get-go, my seven-year-old daughter recognized that this program and the tutors were special. She arrived there ready to work and came home with a huge smile on her face. I asked her about her experience after each session. She'd reply with a "great," "terrific," "stupendous," or "fun" every time. She loved the tutors and came home with stories of some fun activity they did during the sessions. What was most striking for me was to see her inner confidence blossom in the matter of a few short months. The first time she read a complete chapter book, she did a fist-pump in the air and cheered for herself on a job well done.
After re-testing, my daughter can now hold five letters in her mind at a time. She gets excited for school and seems all-around more confident. Her Ist-grade teacher was amazed at how her reading ability and fluency had leaped within two short months. Lindamood-Bell worked wonders for her reading and self-esteem. I'm so grateful that she had this experience. It's amazing what the centers and staff can do with the Seeing Stars program!
I am in my twentieth year of teaching, all within Florida. A great deal of my career (over three-fourths) has been spent working in Title I schools with struggling readers. In Palm Beach County, I worked with children of migrant workers who came to our school knowing no English. I taught reading blocks all day to ESOL students in grades K-3. The last six years of my career, I spent as a literacy coach In Bay County, working with D and F schools. This year, I am currently the part-time reading coach/part-time interventionist/gifted teacher at Chaires Elementary. I tell you all of this only to show my previous experience with struggling readers and the multitude of programs and resources out there that attempt to meet their needs.
This year, I attended the four days of training that were offered in September by Leon County for the Lindamood-Bell programs. I returned from the training and, eventually, began a Visualizing and Verbalizing (V/V) group with five low-performing third graders. One of the students in this group was performing very low in class activities, as well as on school-wide and class assessments. She was also very quiet and shy. When we started working in our group, her answers, when she gave them, were COMPLETELY off base (students were supposed to be describing a picture of a dog and she would talk about a fish). I was very concerned that she would not be able to continue in the group; that the group would leave her behind. I was very methodical and specific with the way that I questioned this student. As time went on, this student was no longer quiet in our group, but constantly chattering and answering the questions, even before they were asked. The teacher also reported that she could not get the student to stop talking now in class. After moving up through the various steps for about eight weeks, I eventually asked the student to do a word summary on an eight-sentence paragraph. She accomplished this task with flying colors! After dismissing the group, I went back to my office and cried. I have used a vast variety of programs, but I have never seen one work so well, so easily, with so much student engagement, so quickly. I was amazed, as was this student. Her eyes lit up with so much excitement because she finally knew that she could do it.
I also have a group of 4th graders who have been struggling through another intervention program that I was using. I just was not seeing the phonetic progress with them that I wanted to see in the time we had been working together. I decided, just recently, to give Seeing Stars a try. After a couple of weeks, the attitude and behavior of one of our most challenging students made a drastic change. Reading and writing were both coming easier to him and HE recognized it. He came to the group more on task and engaged than he had been for months. The group asks to continue using the program because they see it is making a difference and they are engaged.
I have seen firsthand how the Lindamood-Bell programs have helped tremendously.
Thank you so much!"