As a financially accessible solution and one that targets K-12 students, a mother and veteran educator sees her daughter’s success with the program and plans to help other district learners.
Erica is an educator, homeschooler and private tutor with a special certification in Structured Literacy. A parent of two children with dyslexia, she does her part to help find solutions as vice president of her local Long Island chapter of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).
As a private reading tutor, Erica has become very familiar with a competitor of MindPlay. Though the program is good, she says, it is very expensive and thus inaccessible to most students who need it. The other issue is the length of time it takes for a learner to master the required reading skills, which is quite a while.
At an IDA conference, Erica met Dr. Nancy Mather, a widely renowned specialist in assessment, reading, writing, and dyslexia. She asked Mather for her best recommendation for a strong reading program; that’s when she learned about MindPlay.
When schools closed down in March because of the coronavirus, Erica put her fifth-grade daughter on the very affordable MindPlay. Her daughter was struggling with reading and was beginning to lose confidence in herself and her ability to learn.
Erica had her daughter use MindPlay with fidelity, which meant only 30 minutes a day five days a week and saw a quick change. “Since school has been closed, she is reading faster and with much more confidence, and her fluency has greatly improved, which is evident when I listen to her read aloud.”
In a recent letter to Dr. Mather, Erica wrote, “It’s now been about three months that she’s been on Mindplay and I’ve seen tremendous growth and confidence as a reader in my daughter that was literally non-existent before COVID. She finished her first Harry Potter book and she’s onto book number two! She is ecstatic as am I!!!!! So thank you, thank you, thank you for including her in Mindplay and telling me about it.”
Erica will continue using MindPlay with her daughter, who appreciates the motivational celebratory certificates of mastery, which she can print out and post. The next step for Erica is to start a non-profit K-12 reading tutoring center in her district with MindPlay as the centerpiece. She notes that some form of distance learning is most likely here to stay, and has observed that what normally lacking in distance learning is individualized instruction.
The advantage of MindPlay, she says, is the ability to accommodate all reading levels and all students across a K-12 spectrum. Struggling readers can make quick leaps in reading grade levels, and average and advanced students can get a leg up in fluency, comprehension, and other areas, she says.
“I believe in literacy. If we can teach every kid to read at a proficient level, we can change the trajectory of their lives.”
Editor’s Note: The interviewee in this article requested we not use her real name.