By Mary Mogan Edwards – The Columbus Dispatch
Posted Feb 29, 2020

In 2010, my literacy journey began with my children. The more I learned about dyslexia, the more determined I became to help change the trajectory of as many lives as possible.

My work started within a grassroots organization in Upper Arlington forced to file a complaint against our school district because it failed to follow federal law and identify children with dyslexia and provide appropriate instruction. UA changed its ways, embraced the science of reading and has transformed into a district nationally renowned for its early literacy instruction.

UA screens each child entering kindergarten for dyslexia, provides phonics 30 minutes a day to every K-3 student, provides certified remediation for children with dyslexia and no longer utilizes Reading Recovery.

Parents formed OH-KID (@OHKID) to benefit Ohio’s children with dyslexia. OH-KID has parent groups from 20-plus school districts representing more than 180,000 Ohio students.

Poverty has many powerful forces, illiteracy being one of the strongest. The personal costs of helping a child with dyslexia can be staggering. Learning to read is a civil-rights issue.

Parent advocacy and equal access to services are part of the solution. Another is bringing science into teacher education. Many universities are decades behind in understanding dyslexia and the science of reading.

Until parents demand their children be taught to read, nothing will change.

We have produced a documentary, “Our Dyslexic Children,” that will premiere in Gateway’s Documentary Film Festival on March 28.

Every child deserves to learn to read.

Brett Tingley, Upper Arlington