October 7, the Ontario branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA Ontario) is kicking off “Read October”, an annual literacy and dyslexia awareness read-a-thon event. It runs through October, Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia affects the daily lives of over 2 million Ontarians.
All funds raised through Read October go to grants to help Ontario public libraries purchase dyslexia-friendly resources. To support Read October you can join the read-a-thon or sponsor a reader through Canada Helps. Funds raised last year by Read October and supplemented by other donations, recently enabled IDA Ontario to announce grants to 62 Ontario public libraries. These grants are helping the libraries purchase decodable books.
Decodable books, according to IDA Ontario, are ones that have been carefully written using modern evidence-based strategies to effectively support reading development. Decodable books are great for all beginning readers but are especially important to the success of children with dyslexia.
The benefitting libraries are in every region of the province, ranging from smaller places like Deep River, Grand Valley and Dryden to larger centres like Windsor, Hamilton and Oakville.
“Decodable books are a great addition to library shelves,” says Jodie Delgado, CEO of the Springwater library, north of Barrie. “Many families visit the library to find resources to help their children learn to read,” she explains, “and the IDA grant for decodable books will allow us to offer more.”
This project complements IDA Ontario’s ongoing work with public libraries to provide resources for struggling readers and to publicize the warning signs of dyslexia. “Approximately a third of students in Ontario have reading difficulties,” says Alicia Smith, IDA Ontario’s president, “and dyslexia is by far the leading cause.” Warning signs of dyslexia, according to Smith, can be identified in children as young as four. With early screening and appropriate reading interventions start in kindergarten, reading difficulties, says Smith, can be greatly reduced and even avoided. To join Read October or make a donation please visit www.readoctober.com.
For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact: Alicia Smith, President, International Dyslexia Association Ontario, email@example.com cell: (705) 427-9544; Jodie Delgado, CEO Springwater Public Library, Jodie.Delgado@springwater.ca cell: (705) 220-2496