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'Parenting a Struggling Reader'
a Struggling Reader." Susan L. Hall and Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D.
Broadway Books, 2002, 284 pages.
In the new book "Parenting a Struggling
Reader," co-author Susan Hall writes: "Most parents, like me, waste
time and energy because of misguided advice and their own limited
understanding of the problems their child faces. This book provides
parents with advice and information, but most important it provides
hope." Born out of the experiences Hall faced as a parent of a
first-grader struggling with reading, she and co-author Louisa Moats
have written a book described as "the first completely,
comprehensive, practical guide for recognizing, diagnosing, and
overcoming any childhood reading difficulty." The chapters contained
in the book cover a broad spectrum of issues related to childhood
reading difficulties, including:
a child who struggles with reading
When a parent suspects that a child has
a reading difficulty, there are several questions that must be
addressed: How do I approach the school about the problem? How can I
become more informed about this issue? Most importantly, what is my
role in this process? The different roles for parents include
offering emotional support to the child, clarifying the nature of
the problem, working toward quick action, gathering information and
becoming an advocate for your child.
are your child's best advocate
What is an advocate? According to the
authors, an advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of another
person's needs and rights. In the case of children with reading
difficulties, the parent, not the school employee, is the best
advocate. Not only do parents know the child better than anyone
else, they also know the history of the child's instruction,
understand the conflicts and stresses they are dealing with, and
have the child's best interests at heart. Parents can become
effective advocates for their children by staying informed about the
educational process and their legal rights, organizing their child's
records, documenting everything that transpires during this period,
and getting an independent, second opinion.
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Identifying the problem
Parents have many important tools at
their disposal to help them recognize and combat reading
difficulties in children. Reading difficulty has become so
commonplace in America that the National Institutes of Health refers
to it as "a major public health problem." Some experts recommend
that children should be screened for reading comprehension no later
than the middle of kindergarten. These tests can oftentimes uncover
hidden problems or conditions such as learning disorders or
dyslexia. Early signs of a child exhibiting a reading difficulty
include reluctance to read aloud, complaints that reading is hard,
falling behind their peers, difficulty with unknown or common words,
and guessing rather than sounding out unknown words.
your child tested
If parents believe that their child has
a reading difficulty, there are many tests that can help identify
the problem and suggest possible treatments. Psychoeducational
testing measures cognitive ability (IQ), academic achievement,
language proficiency and other processes related to learning.
Although there is no "dyslexia test battery" to diagnose dyslexia,
specialists can piece together information from other tests as well
as information gathered from less formal assessments. In describing
these tests the authors discuss the right age a child should be
tested, how to select someone to administer the tests, and the legal
and educational role the school plays in testing.
"Parenting a Struggling Reader" is an
outstanding reference for parents who are concerned about their
child's reading abilities. Both authors are members of the
International Dyslexia Association and have previously co-authored
the acclaimed book "Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can
Make a Difference During the Early Years." The book is fully indexed
and contains appendices on assessment tools to identify at-risk
children, as well as additional resources for parents.
introduction Hall writes: "The causes and cures for reading
difficulties are well known in the research community, but classroom
practice has been slow to recognize and use the information
generated by research. Because parents expressed such profound need
for straightforward guidance, we felt compelled to write this book."
This book is recommended for every parent who suspects a reading
difficulty in his or her child or wishes to become better informed
on the subject.
[Richard Sumrall, Lincoln
Public Library District]
DECATUR -- Theatre 7 -
Decatur's Community Theatre will present the comedy "Epic
Proportions" in February at the Decatur Civic Center Theatre.
Tickets for the production go on sale to the general public
beginning Monday, Jan. 13, at the Decatur Civic Center Box Office.
"Epic Proportions" is set in the 1930s,
when brothers Benny and Phil find themselves in the Arizona desert
as extras in a huge historical epic film. Before they know it, Phil
is directing the movie and Benny is starring in it. To complicate
matters, they both fall in love with Louise, the assistant director
The Theatre 7 production is directed by
Cast members are Jayson Albright, Shawn
Becker, Doug Bishop, Peter Churukian, Amy Hoak, Tim Haworth, Alison
Logan and Matt Tucker.
Performance dates and times are Feb. 7,
8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. For ticket
information, call the box office, (217) 422-6161.
DECATUR -- Theatre 7 -
Decatur's Community Theatre will have auditions soon for the second
production of its 39th season, the epic musical "Ragtime."
The auditions will be at the Decatur
Civic Center Theater on Sunday, Jan. 19, and Monday, Jan. 20.
Children 7-10 years old audition at 5 p.m. and adults at 6:30 p.m.
To try out, prepare a song two minutes
in length. An accompanist will be provided. A short piece of
dialogue will be provided, as well as a short dance step.
For more information about the
questions, call Mike Redlinger, director. The daytime phone number
is (217) 428-4315.
[Theatre 7 press release]
LCT 2003 season
Lincoln Community Theatre is
pleased to announce three productions selected for the summer of
Kicking off the 32nd season of live
theater for the Lincoln community will be the hilarious musical "Nuncrackers."
This fun-filled show is a continuation of the antics of the
dauntless, darling nuns of Mount St. Helen's Convent who delighted
Lincoln audiences in the "Nunsense" series several summers ago.
Audience participation, one-liners, a rum-soaked fruitcake, dueling
sugar plum fairies and dear Sister Amnesia will definitely start the
summer theatrical season with humor and fun.
The July production, "Steel Magnolias,"
is one of our best ensemble productions. The familiar, bittersweet
story touches all the emotional peaks and valleys of life in a small
Southern community. From wise-cracking Truvy to unsure Annelle, the
characters in this poignant play promise to touch everyone with both
laughter and tears.
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Ending the season on a patriotic note,
LCT's final production of the summer will be "1776," a stirring, yet
humorous musical featuring a large cast representing our founding
fathers. Humor abounds with fast-paced dialogue involving Ben
Franklin, Henry Lee and other early congressional characters, along
with catchy, patriotic music.
To kick off
the holiday season, Lincoln Community Theatre is offering holiday
gift certificates for season memberships for the summer 2003 season.
Certificates can be mailed directly to the receiver or to the gift
giver. Certificates for adult memberships are $20 each, and those
for children through eighth grade are $12 each. Requests for gift
certificates may be sent to LCT, Box 374, Lincoln, IL 62656. Further
information is available at (217) 732-7542 or by visiting the LCT
[Judy Rader, LCT publicity
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Lincoln Community Theatre
Community Theatre's box office, phone
735-2614, is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through
Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby
of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of
"Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I"
will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8
p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln,
IL 62656; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LDC website at www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre/index.html.
Pictures from past productions are included.
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