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Increased demand for reading programme

Demand for a local reading programme was up during the last school year, a new report has confirmed.

According to The Reading Clinic, 100 students took part in its core reading programme during the 2016-17 school year — up from 92 the year before.

The students came from 18 public and eight private schools; 79 of the students were primary-school aged, while 19 were from middle schools and two were adults.

Amy Da Costa, a programme coordinator, said that the focus has been in helping students in their early years that display a pattern of dyslexia.

She added: “For the second year in succession, the programme exceeded its cap of 90 students and had a wait list, clearly indicating that demand for our services is increasing.”

The programme assesses students in four areas: decoding, oral reading, comprehension and spelling.

Ms Da Costa said improvements of a year or more were seen in all but one area — fluency.

She added: “Further evaluation that students with a particular profile or pattern of dyslexia were the only ones to perform with less than one year's improvement.”

Ms Da Costa said there was an increase in both the number of private school and female students in the programme.

She explained: “This shift is likely a result of increased enrolment from two particular private schools as well as a few students leaving public school for private school.”

Ms Da Costa added that female students now account for 48 per cent of total enrolment.

In total, 6,171 one-on-one sessions were delivered to the 100 students by 42 tutors. Financial assistance was provided to 50 students with 11 receiving full bursaries.

Ms Da Costa said: “Since The Reading Clinic is a registered charity, we do not ask parents to pay tutoring fees to cover the approximately $702,100 per year that it costs to run the programme, which would amount to approximately $110 per hour.

“Instead we charge parents fees ranging from $0 per session to no more than $60 per session.”

Counselling services also continued to be provided at low cost to several families whose children were also struggling with “socio-emotional difficulties”.

Glenn Faries, executive director of The Reading Clinic, said the report showed the importance for the services the clinic provides “and reflects the professionalism and dedication of our staff and tutors”.

A full copy of the report can be viewed at www.readingclinic.bm/programme-evalution.

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Published November 21, 2017 at 11:08 am (Updated November 21, 2017 at 11:08 am)

Increased demand for reading programme

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