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Leaping Grades and Building Confidence

Meet Heather & Miranda…

Miranda  and her KidsQuest tutor, Tim, practice writing at the Stanislaus County Library.

Miranda and her KidsQuest tutor, Tim, practice writing at the Stanislaus County Library.

Miranda and Heather enjoying some reading time

Miranda and Heather enjoying some reading time

Miranda and Tim using the magnetic tiles to work on spelling and reading

Miranda and Tim using the magnetic tiles to work on spelling and reading

Heather Sevo struggled with dyslexia since childhood, but essential school resources helped her start junior high at the same reading level as her peers and maintain top grades through college.  It was an accomplishment that required hard work and dedication from herself and those who helped her.  Heather said, “So, when my child, Miranda, wasn’t able to keep up with the rest of her class in reading and spelling, I knew something was wrong.”

It turns out that Miranda, only being in third grade, indeed had dyslexia like her mother and quickly joined the school’s resource program.  She said, “Although she was learning how to spell and read, it wasn’t the one on one she needed.  It was a small group of kids that met for 15 minutes only two times a week.  She wasn’t learning what she needed as quickly as she was needing it.  By the time she got into fourth grade, she was only reading at a second grade level and spelling was at first grade level at best.  Her self esteem and self confidence was starting to suffer and she was quickly being left behind in her learning.  She was able to piece together and memorize enough to keep her afloat, but not enough to succeed.”

“You only fail if you give up!

If you are doing your best, that is what counts.”

– Sevo Family motto

Heather learned about LearningQuest’s free one-on-one tutoring for dyslexic children using the Barton System through the KidsQuest program held at the Stanislaus County Library.  She said, “I was doing everything I could at home to help her.  I was tutoring her in reading and spelling, but could not afford the Barton System at $350 per level, so I did what I could do.” After enrolling Miranda into KidsQuest and witnessing the commitment from her tutor, Tim Smart, Heather saw a significant improvement in her daughter’s academic success and confidence.  Heather said, “This has been a blessing from God!  We could not afford the Barton System on our own.  This program enabled [Miranda] to get the help she needs with an excellently trained tutor…that has the patience and time to help her.  She has gone from reading at a second grade level to a fifth grade reading level in just one year!  It has given my daughter the confidence to enter into sixth grade knowing that she can read what she needs to read without feeling anxious or defeated.”

Miranda has regained her self confidence and no longer feels pressured to play “catch up” in school.  Miranda said, “My mom keeps me motivated and determined to do my best because she is always there for me.  We talk about what it is I’m learning and she teaches me and takes me deeper into the subject.  She doesn’t just give me the answers, she helps me figure it out for myself.  She encourages me by telling me of her struggles and how she overcame them.  She also tells me about others that are dyslexic and how they have gone on to accomplish great things in their lives.”

“Through KidsQuest, my daughter was given the necessary tools she needed to learn how to read.  Schools are overwhelmed and underfunded.  They do not have the ability to work one on one with a student that needs the extra help.  Without Tim Smart and KidsQuest, my daughter would be entering middle school unable to read,” said Heather.  For other parents struggling to help their child find the resources they need, she says, “Seek help.  Ask for a parent teacher conference with your child’s teacher.  Be strong!  Be your child’s advocate.”

Miranda practices reading out loud.

Working patiently and creatively, Tim is able to help Miranda find confidence as she improves.

Miranda and Tim learning Geography.

Hands on activities help Tim make the connections for Miranda.

Did you know that many parents in your community don’t know that they can access free educational and support resources?

Bridge the gap for families, like Heather and Miranda’s, by making sure support programs stay available for parents searching for resources.

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