Wilting student. You know the one. The student who would rather do anything else in the world than read aloud. The one who often exhibits his or her overwhelming frustration at their school assignments. The student who has noticed that they are not reading as well as their peers. You can tell that it’s gone to their head when they sometimes bubble forth comments like, “I’m not smart.” Traditional methods have failed this student. Year after year we hope that the next teacher will have success with them. Deep down we hope they will just grow out of it. We long to see them smile about reading, like they smile about so many other things.

I can tell you that I have seen that smile. I have seen the smile as a student finishes a reading lesson with a flashing, brilliant grin. It is so rewarding to see, because I know that self-confidence is starting to creep back in.

I found my ivy plant had a bruised stem one day after there had been some rambunctious play in my home. The top 3/4 of the plant was wilted and folded over on itself. It was a shamble of the height it once had been. I went outside and came back in with as stick. I chose a stick that was thicker than that ivy stem. I got some thread and wound it around below the bruised area, then above it. Loosely, I wound the thread around the stick and the ivy stem to brace it. Then I tied it off. It has been weeks now, and that ivy stem shows no sign of weakness. Someday I will unwind that thread and remove the stick. I look forward to that ivy standing on its own.

This is what I want to do as a reading specialist. I want to come alongside a student, brace them, bind them loosely for a time, then release them to strongly grow on their own. I will see the smile of the once wilted student.

Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Amy Manly, and I am a Certified Reading Practitioner. Currently I am training to become a Certified Reading Therapist and am busy as a comprehensive reading therapist intern through Loftier Learning and Literacy Mission School International.

I became interested in reading therapy after someone close to me was diagnosed with Dyslexia and was helped. The student began with the ability to decode words and fluently read at a Grade 1 level, and climbed six grades in five months of working with a Certified Reading Therapist using the 21-lesson program!

I was so pleased to be mentored by my student’s Certified Reading Therapist and be trained in the same program. I have completed many hours of practicum training. These hours have encompassed observation, participation with students of varied ages and starting abilities, research, conversations, decoding practice, and supervision.

I was raised to love books. My mother read aloud to us and made certain that we got to the public library regularly. As an adult I have enjoyed the unique privilege of serving as chairperson of a local library board. I have a background in education and psychology and have earned my M.A. in Youth Ministry. Education is my passion. Teaching effectively has been my research. I would love to meet with you and hear about your journey of life, particularly as it pertains to becoming a fluent reader.

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