Wilson Fundations author to speak about new reading program | ParkRecord.com

Wilson Fundations author to speak about new reading program

Barbara Wilson wrote the curriculum Park City elementary schools now use

Barbara Wilson began Wilson Language Training 30 years ago. She will speak about her reading program, Wilson Fundations, which is used in Park City elementary schools, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Park City High School.

Park City elementary schools adopted a new reading program this year, and the creator of the curriculum is paying a visit.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Barbara Wilson is scheduled to speak at the Park City High School Lecture Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. She will discuss the many factors that aid students while learning to read both inside and outside of the classroom. She will also give an overview of the structured literacy program, Wilson Fundations, which after a pilot program at McPolin Elementary School was rolled out to Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, Parley's Park Elementary School and Trailside Elementary School this year for kindergarten to second grade, said Elissa Aten, co-founder and president of PC READS (Park City Recognizing, Educating and Advocating for Dyslexic Students).

The event is free and open to the public, and Aten said that all members of the community could benefit.

"It's an excellent opportunity for parents to come as well as educators, and really any community member," she said. "Even grandparents have to teach and sit and read with their children."

One in five students has a language-based learning disability, and the most common, by far, is dyslexia, Aten said. Those who attend the event will learn about the reading program teachers in Park City schools have adopted, which helps all students learn to read with multi-sensory methods, especially those suffering with dyslexia. The plan is to eventually include all third-graders as well – it is currently being taught to third-graders at McPolin – and to feature a structured support system for dyslexic students who need extra assistance.

"Knowing what is happening in the classroom is always beneficial for knowing how you can support it at home," Aten said.

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Many parents might not be aware of what dyslexia looks like in a child or might not know what to do if their student is struggling. The event, which is part of PC READS' community education efforts, will help introduce those in attendance to the issue.

Karen Hall is the co-founder of the Hall Family Fund, which helps funds Wilson Fundations and Barbara Wilson's visit. Hall said that the event will be invaluable to parents and instructors, since Wilson plans to meet with representatives who are implementing the new reading program at the schools.

"It's kind of the icing on the cake for teachers," Hall said. "The knowledge that Barbara Wilson obviously brings to Wilson Fundations, for her to share that with the teachers who are so deserving, would just put another tool in their toolbox and make them a little bit more invested in seeing the success of the program."

Hall, who has been trying to gain awareness for dyslexia for several years, is excited to see Wilson Fundations be successfully implemented at the schools and have Wilson come to help ensure the program continues to thrive.

"It's beyond anything we had hoped to accomplish," she said.