Stride Academy, a charter school, won Innovation Of The Month from the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools for their amazing success with students who have dyslexia and bilingual students.
Two Dyslexia Specialists, who are also Certified Barton Tutors, run the school’s intervention program using the Barton Reading & Spelling System.
They educate parents and teachers about dyslexia, screen students who have 3 or more of the classic warning signs, provide tutoring, and ensure teachers provide classroom accommodations.
Students who struggled and failed at traditional schools are thriving at Stride Academy – academically and socially.
To learn more, watch this 4-minute video.
Susan Barton loves it when parents, tutors, and teachers post success stories on Facebook, like this one.
My little girl passed the Barton Level 4 posttest tonight. I high fived her and told her how proud I am of her.
She asked, “Mom, why are you crying?”
“Because you almost could not read at all this time last year. Look how far you’ve come.”
She then shared that she’s no longer afraid to read in front of the class.
Don’t give up, mamas! Celebrate the little milestones and successes!
Erika Workman, parent
I love getting email from parents who decided to tutor their own child at home, like this one:
It’s a hot summer day in Kansas, and I’m sitting outside my son’s door with tears running down my cheeks as I listen to him read a chapter book out loud to himself.
He is so proud of the way he can read. He began your program on July 29th last year, so he is just one week shy of his one year anniversary.
I am a former 3rd grade teacher who teaches him Barton at home, Monday through Friday, one hour a day.
You have changed the course of his life.
And you have given us, his parents, so much hope.
Bless you. We are grateful for you!
Ann Elise and Michael Harmelink, parents
Overland Park, KS
Don’t waste the summer. Instead, tutor every day and your student will make amazing progress, as this parent shared:
When our son finished second grade, the school evaluated his reading level. It was 1.9, which meant he was a full year behind.
After only 2 months of tutoring him myself over the summer every day, using the Barton Reading & Spelling System, he has improved greatly. The school tested him at the beginning of this year, third grade, and his reading is now 3.2 to 5.0.
His self-confidence is so much better than it was a year ago. He will even read out loud in Sunday school in front of his friends.
Recently, there was a story about a dyslexic boy in their lesson. Our son raised his hand and shared that he has dyslexia, too. Jonah explained that he was born with it, and that he can read just as well as any of them, it just sometimes takes him a little longer.
Bless you for what you have done for our son.
This is why Susan Barton warns parents that if their child needs testing to prove dyslexia, do not wait until they have finished the Barton System.
I wanted to share some exciting news about my son, Brian, who is now 16.
He was diagnosed with severe dyslexia when he was 10.
He needed an updated educational evaluation for accommodations on the college entrance exams. He was evaluated by Dr. Varia, Ph.D. from Mindwell Psychology. She has a strong specialty in dyslexia.
After Dr. Varia tested him, she told me that she would not have known Brian has dyslexia had I not told her prior to the exam. Her testing did not pick it up. She said Brian has been completely remediated. I was stunned!
I knew your program was the best, but I had no idea that it could improve Brian’s reading and spelling skills to the point that his dyslexia became undetectable.
So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so very much!
Amy Summers, parent
and Certified Barton Tutor at the Advanced Level
Susan Barton loves hearing from Barton tutors who monitor progress using normed standardized tests, as Karyl does:
I have been using the Barton Reading & Spelling System for 16 years. The growth in my students reading and spelling skills is amazing.
I use the Word Identification and Spelling Test (the WIST) to monitor progress.
Most of my students have scores in only the 1st to 5th percentile on their first day of tutoring.
I give the WIST again at the end of Level 4. Their reading and spelling scores then range from 45th to 55th percentile.
But I urge parents to continue the tutoring process because by the end of Level 8, their children’s reading and spelling scores jump to the 75th to 95th percentile — way above their peers.
Parents and teachers call it a miracle. But I know it is the Barton System that makes their success possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Certified Barton Tutor at the Advanced Level
Los Angeles, CA
Susan Barton loves hearing about great teachers who go above and beyond, like this one:
Despite paying tuition to send my daughter Ashten to a small school so she could get more one-on-one time, she still struggled.
When she was diagnosed with dyslexia, the school shared they had no idea how to deal with it. But her wonderful Title 1 teacher was willing to learn.
She started researching dyslexia, went to meetings and conferences, eventually became certified in the Barton System, and she has been one of my daughter’s biggest cheerleaders. She has even given up her own summer vacations in order to tutor Ashten year round for 2 1/2 years.
Ashten is now in 6th grade and was asked to read the morning announcements in front of her entire school. She asked a girl in 7th grade to go up with her in case she needed help with some of the words. Ashten was so excited when she shared she was able to read it all with no help. This momma was a crying mess with tears of joy for her!
She also got her i-Ready test scores back. Her Title 1 teacher let her take it entirely on her own. This is the first time EVER that she has tested out at grade level.
Her confidence has shot through the roof !
Michelle Johnson, parent
Susan Barton loves getting letters from graduates of the Barton Reading & Spelling System who then start sharing their story in an effort to change things for other students with dyslexia. Here’s Katherine’s story:
I can and I will. Just watch me.
For years this has been my go-to statement.
You see, in the third grade, I was diagnosed “twice exceptional” having both dyslexia and dysgraphia paired with a high IQ. Up until that point, I couldn’t read a three-letter word. My parents had meeting after meeting with my teachers and were told that I was an underachiever and that I would never be more than a mediocre student. Well, lucky for me, they knew better!
But for most children who suffer from hidden disabilities, there isn’t anyone there to advocate for them. This creates a huge crack for these kids to fall through and most of the time leads to these children becoming statistics. Over forty million Americans have dyslexia and only slightly more than two million are receiving services for their diagnosis.
So many children fall behind in school and ultimately drop out due to the lack of in-depth screening to be able to identify certain markers that could provide early intervention. Had my mother not known that something wasn’t adding up and decided to seek second and third opinions, I have no doubt that I would have been a statistic.
Today I am an all A student and have earned admission into the BETA Club, National Honor Society, and didn’t do too terrible on my first time taking the ACT! Because someone cared enough to advocate for me, I was able to return to school after my diagnosis and not only receive the proper training for my dyslexia, but I was also immediately entered into the gifted class! You cannot imagine what this did for my self-esteem! I was pulled twice a day, once for therapy and once for gifted!
Again, this was because someone believed I could do it! Someone had the insight to know that helping me advance what my brain was good at, as they helped me learn to overcome what my brain wasn’t good at, was going to be the key to my success!
My journey hasn’t always been an easy one and to this day I continue to fight the fight! I want to take this a step further and make sure that once students are diagnosed, they are not hindered by the label.
I have had to fight my way through class scheduling because they didn’t think I could handle certain classes. I had to beg to be put into chemistry in my 10th grade year and promise to give 100% effort. I finished that class with a high A. Had I not pushed for this, I would have never gotten the opportunity to learn in advanced classroom settings, simply because I have been labeled “learning disabled”.
I always have to prove that I can excel greatly if I’m not put into a box and labeled! I believe that once identified, dyslexia becomes a gift instead of a disability! With proper accommodations students can finally realize their potential and begin to focus on the many positive traits that come along with this diagnosis.
I once read a quote saying, “everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, he will live his whole life believing he’s stupid!” There are seven different types of learners in a classroom: auditory, visual, verbal, logical, physical, social and solitary. Since that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense that there are that many different types of testers? Standardized testing is merely taking a fish and asking him to climb that tree!
I am trying to help bring awareness to this issue by being a student liaison to the Mississippi Department of Education. I am currently a member of the Mississippi State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, serving a two-year term. This role lets me tell my story and offer insight to what I believe will help to identify struggling students, hopefully helping to ultimately lower the dropout rate.
Statistics show that sixty-two percent of non-readers become high school dropouts. I think this is unacceptable and can certainly be helped. I cringe to think of where I might be today, had someone not seen my potential.
I hope my story can be eye opening!
What if you have a student who has the potential to be President of the United States, or a brain surgeon, or cure cancer, but never makes it out of high school because his or her potential was never realized. The accommodations not put into place to see that just because he can’t climb the tree doesn’t mean he can’t swim the ocean!
So many children are out there struggling daily who don’t know their own potential! So many educators and adults who don’t know what they are looking for write us off as underachievers. This has to stop!
I want to ultimately rebrand dyslexia and make the world see who we really are! We are the imaginers, the creators! We are driven and ambitious and persistent — IF we aren’t made to believe we are simply mediocre!
How can we help? Let’s start a discussion!
Most parents dread report card day, as this parent shared:
Yesterday, report cards came out.
In the early years of elementary school, I would dread this day. My heart would sink, and I would end up in floods of tears when I opened my son’s report card. We would not talk to him about his report card. If he asked, we’d say he was doing “fine.”
Yesterday was different. I was excited as I opened his report card because I knew he was doing well in middle school. Sure enough, my hard-working son had made the high honor roll.
I immediately Facetimed him from work to let him know how proud I was of the hard work he put into this achievement.
I am also proud of the hundreds of hours he and I have worked together on the Barton System to get him to this point. We look forward to the day when we’ll finish Level 10, but that is still a couple of years away.
Tutoring him has not been easy because his dyslexia is very severe.
I am sharing this to encourage those who are just starting out tutoring their own children and finding it difficult. Hard work, persistence and dedication pay off !!!
I dread to think what our lives would be like if I had not found the Barton Reading & Spelling System.
A.M. O’Connor, parent
Grandmothers often tutor a grandchild who has dyslexia with great results — as this grandmother shared:
The Barton Reading System is outstanding due to its systematic introduction of new sounds and skills.
The videos are well done, and between that and the excellent teaching manuals, anyone can use this system with success.
And I can’t say enough about your free support and the many free goodies on your tutor support website.
My severely dyslexic grandson went from not being able to read the word “cat” in 3rd grade to handling 7th grade quite confidently.
You have created a miracle in a box!
Patty Drake, grandmother and tutor