Welcome to Reading Rescue Ontario, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching reading to all struggling readers. We specialize in working with children and adults who have Dyslexia or Learning Disabilities.
Our program provides one to one instruction to students in a sequential and organized manner.
The program is designed by Linda Soehner, B.A., M.Ed. It is a combination of old practices, which have been modified to suit these particular students, and new methods influenced by the latest research:
- “Overcoming Dyslexia” by Sally Shaywitz
- “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge
- Research by Marcel Just on “using the plasticity of the brain to gain an educational improvement” (‘Neuropsychologia’, Aug. 2008)
Our program provides:
- direct and systematic teaching that will enhance reading, reading fluency, and reading strategies
- training in word recognition, decoding skills and spelling enhancement
- three different teaching styles; visual, auditory and tactile to ensure every student’s way of learning is accommodated
- every lesson will include the needed resources for follow-up learning at home
- upon your first visit, the instructor will do an assessment to appropriately place the student in our program
Reading Rescue is offered in two parts:
Every student will begin with Part One of the program to achieve a solid foundation and begin to build reading mastery.
Part Two will begin when Part One has been completed and understood.
Part Two contains sections on syllabification, obscure phonics, prefixes, suffixes, parts of speech and spelling rules.
Before I was involved in the reading program, I couldn’t read well and if someone offered me a book, I would not read it because I found it to be too much of a hassle. I used to simply act like I was reading in class and I was scared that people would make fun of me. I was frustrated and a few times someone would say something and I would snap. I did some things that I am not proud of. I agreed to be involved in the reading program and came to school 1/2 hour early every day to work in a one to one setting for 30-45 minutes per day for 3 months. Now I understand more in life, my grades are improving, I am doing better at home as I am able to read instructions, hook ups etc. Being able to read has really promoted my confidence
Stanley, Grade 6 student
In elementary school, I was really frustrated because nobody understood how my brain worked. They tested me all of the time. It seemed that I never had a chance to try the normal work that my classmates were doing. I worked in a small group with an EA for most of my 8 years in elementary school. In Grade 8 my mom pushed really hard to get me assistive technology. I went into the Pathways program in Grade 9. During the summer after grade 10 I worked with at tutor on the reading program for 1-1 1/2 hours per day for 3-4 weeks. Now I take my time reading and am able to break the words down. I am now able to read pretty much anything. I have worked very hard and am now taking college level courses. My dream is to go to college for photography and I’m sure now that I will be able to get there! It is good to understand that I am a smart person and smarter in different ways. I now understand that for me reading took a lot more practice and I needed to have it broken down. I love reading the newspaper!
Kaitlyn, Grade 11 student
My name is Kyle, I am 11 years old and I am dyslexic. My dad is too. I don’t really know what that means but I do know that my brain processes information differently than everyone else. Last year I started coming to classes with Linda and she really helped me with my reading. Now when I’m asked to find something on a label or in a book or paper, I can find it because I know how to read better. My mom pushed me real hard and made me read my book every day and do my word cards. I still don’t like to read very much but I know that I can. Now I understand what the words are trying to tell me because I can sound them out and know what each word says. I know that I will always be a slow reader but I know than I can.
Kyle, age 11
My name is Jayme and I too had difficulty learning to read. I really struggled even though I tried very hard each day at school. By age 9 I felt helpless and extremely embarrassed with my situation. I couldn't even enjoy a family visit to a restaurant because I needed help reading the choices on the menu. Then my mom read about Linda's program in the local newspaper and gave her a call. From this moment on my life changed dramatically for the better. I am in grade eight now. With Linda's program, I have become a confident reader at the Z level and I'm even willing to read text aloud in front of my classmates!! Wow! What a difference this makes. It feels great knowing that I can read and have more opportunities available to me in my life! Thank you Linda!
Jayme, age 13
At ten years old, my son, an intelligent, inquisitive child, was reading at an early kindergarten level. He soaked in stories read aloud but the ability to read independently eluded him. Mrs. Soehner took David under her wing and created a program to help him overcome dyslexia. She is one of those rare people who sees every child as a successful learner and helps them see this too. Her research based approach combined with an ability to connect and communicate with her students works! Each week in the program my son gained ground and confidence. Two years later he placed top of his class in the Grade 6 EQAO reading test. In David’s words : “Linda never gave up, even when I couldn’t figure stuff out and now I don’t struggle with learning.” Thank you Linda
Our experience with Linda Soehner’s reading program has been very positive. As a past participant in the Sylvan reading program, it was interesting to see how Linda’s assessment identified specific problems. I was particularly impressed and thrilled to see, on paper, one of my son’s specific problems which involved crazy word substitutions. (he would substitute a word such as trip for journey). It was amazing to realize that others had this very same problem. I would strongly recommend this individual program for anyone in need of extra assistance. It is built on a firm foundation. The program that Linda has developed helped my children (aged 10 and 8) to improve their reading levels. These tools are precious.
My daughter Jenna first showed signs of reading difficulty in grade one. I was quite concerned and contacted the school and was told that it was rather common for children of her age to struggle with reading. Jenna first began reading recovery at the end of grade one and continued with this specialized program until the end of grade three. It was at this time that I determined that she needed extra support and sought out private tutoring. We were introduced to Linda and ‘Reading Rescue Ontario’. Linda was very welcoming to me and my daughter and I felt an immediate connection. Linda wasted little time getting started and quickly determined that Jenna was at approximately a grade one reading level. I was not surprised by the news but was desperate to see her succeed. We traveled once a week from Barrie to Holland Centre and were always greeted with great enthusiasm and warm welcomes. It did not take long before I started to see some very positive changes in my young daughter. Linda helped Jenna recognized neat little tricks to improve her reading abilities which in turn was evident in Jenna’s new found confidence. At the end of six months Jenna had greatly improved and is now reading at a strong grade four early grade five reading level. I would recommend Linda’s program to any parents that are concerned with their child’s reading capabilities
Our son Kyle is dyslexic, as is his father, so we were aware that it may be passed down. This made us watchful for signs of the condition. We started Kyle in the Reading Rescue program with Linda when he was in Grade 4, at that time he was reading at a grade 1 level. Kyle was enrolled in Reading Rescue in the fall, he worked extremely hard and in the spring, was rewarded with reading at an advanced grade 5 level. The program Linda put him in had him reading a book every week, keeping problem works on cards to practice and review every day. The program kept him advancing to a higher reading level to allow for advancement and challenge himself. The program is demanding and the amount the students learn is astounding. To have a 10 year old advance from a grade 1 reading level to a grade 5 reading level in six months is amazing. There has to be dedication on both the child side and the parent/guardian side to make the program work for you.
The second session that Kyle joined took him into prefixes, suffixes, rules, diagraphs and again reading a book each week and reviewing problem words. This second session was harder for both me and Kyle because all the rules, diagraphs, etc that come automatically to everyone else, the students have to think, process and apply until eventually it becomes partially automatic for them too. From the parent point of view, they can’t really help the child in the processing part, they have to figure that out on their own, so I felt helpless with his learning then. We are just relieved that we are able to give Kyle the fundamentals so he can figure out any word/sentence on his own. We know he knows and understands the concepts and rules of the words, so that he can do or be anything he wants.
Angela Fry Les Fry
My daughter Sidony was identified as LD (learning disabled) in grade one while in the separate school system in Perth County. She has communications disorders in reading, writing and math. In grade three, we moved to Grey County where she was placed in a public school for convenience as her step siblings attended the same school. I volunteered in her classroom every year for four years and was able witness the frustration that occurred on a daily basis as her needs were not being met,even though she had been IEP'd (indvidual education plan). Rather that teaching her in a manner that she could grasp the materials being taught, she was either kept in the regular classroom with no assistance from an EA, or sent out of the room on a daily basis with a small group and an EA. As a volunteer, I frequently took the group myself to work in another classroom. I am not qualified as an educational assistant. I did feel that the "group" had such extreme needs as individuals I couldn't understand how this was beneficial to any of them. My daughter was light years ahead of them with her extensive general knowledge and vocabulary. It made it difficult to find material that would stimulate her and not confuse the other students. The result was boredom, frustration and a valid dislike of school. Can you imagine how it must feel to be a child who struggles to read the most basic passages? How can you do the math if the question is a problem involving reading? It deteriorates your self-esteem, affects relationships with your peers, and eventually you don't want to go to school anymore. How is a child to survive if they cannot read? Salvation came in grade 5 for my daughter. Her teacher recommended Linda Soehner, a retired principal who was putting together a program of her own to assist children who were not getting the education in reading that they required in the classrooms of Grey County. Linda met with Sidony and assessed her needs. She determined she was capable of learning to read, and could teach her a method that included many "rules" that are not usually taught in the classroom. Linda also uses letter blocks when spelling words to stimulate different pathways between the brain, the eyes and the hand. By understanding the rules and implementing them on a weekly basis at the lesson and reinforcing them at home on a daily basis, we could achieve the success we hoped for. Sidony began Linda's Reading Rescue program in November of grade 5, her established reading level in her classroom at school was 2.3 (grade 2, third month) We attended weekly lessons with Linda and followed up at home with reading and any rules and word groups that we had learned that week. Sidony finished the program in early December of grade 6 reading at a grade 6 level! Sidony is in grade 7 now. We did transfer her back to the separate school system, as we found even after all of her hard work, her former school did not recognize the progress she had made. I had to ask them to retest her several times. I believe once your child is perceived as learning disabled, you have to closely monitor what is being taught or risk them being lost in a system where their best interests are not always convenient for the resource department or the classroom teacher. If your child struggles with behavioural issues please consider that it may very well be caused by frustration with not being able to read at the same level as the rest of the class. Thanks to Linda Soehner and her Reading Rescue program this doesn't have to happen. Children have a resource that is available to them to ensure their self-worth is intact and they can grow up to be productive members in society. My daughter Sidony wakes up each day without an alarm clock and prepares for school. There are no complaints, or tears. She is reading the same books as the rest of her grade 7 class and sharing excerpts of her favourite parts with us in the evenings. She is capable of doing all of the classroom work, she is not sent out in a small group for any reason. This is the greatest gift, a child who struggled for so many years is capable, confident, and loves school once again! Thank you Linda for devoting your time to help children who really require your Reading Rescue program. Sincerely,
Susan and Sidony
My daughter had trouble reading and I was at a lost as to what to do. I ran into a friend one day and she told me about Reading Rescue. I phoned right away and was thrilled that there was a spot. We met with Linda and Lori and started the following week. The program was easy to follow and within weeks my daughter was reading better. She progressively got better and better. She moved up reading levels in no time. She gained confidence in her reading and through the program I found ways to help her learn at her speed that she would be able to understand. This program was the miracle that I had been looking for. In fact, I have referred two friends who's children are also prospering from the program. It is an easy program to follow that it makes you wonder why someone didn't think of it before. I highly recommend this program for anyone that is challenged when it comes to reading
What an exciting and rewarding program you are fine-tuning at Beavercrest! The long-term positive effects that are the result of a child progressing from the label of poor reader to good reader in one year cannot be underestimated. Scoring well on the Provincial testing program is only one of the positive results. The increases in a child=s self-esteem and self-confidence are much more significant. From observing the effectiveness of your program, I would say that the drills using word building blocks, the mastering of sight words, and the organized teaching of vowel sounds and combinations produce much great results in very little time, and the student is more involved in tracking his/her own progress. You are fortunate to have a School Board which sees the long term value of implementing this recovery program for its at-risk students. I know that you have had some amazing results with your students and that you are encouraging other schools to set up similar programs; your enthusiasm is catching! Best of luck, and believe that Aevery child=s a reader@.
Heather Davidson Retired Teacher 2009
I want to officially acknowledge and thank you for all of your efforts in co-ordinating and overseeing the volunteer reading program this past year. It has benefitted many students in very significant ways. I confess that I was somewhat sceptical at the beginning of the year and as a homeroom teacher with many students involved in the program, it was difficult for me to allow the freedom necessary for students to be leaving the classroom from my daily program. In hindsight, this has been a very minute price to pay for the gains made by my students. I also want to thank those very dedicated individuals who volunteered their time and were committed to all of the students in the program. Their sincere caring has made a huge difference in the lives of many. All of the students in my class were very keen and eager to participate in this program on a daily basis. It is my sincere hope that you will continue to run this fabulous program again next year. I would not have been able to offer my students one to one instruction on a daily basis. I firmly believe these students would not be reading at the same level they are at now without your intervention. Thanks you again.
Marilyn Short Grade 2 teacher, 2009
After reading the Plastic Brain and hearing about the reading program at Beavercrest School, I was sure that using my time with children could make a real difference for them. I believe that investing in reading fluency at the elementary level will lead to a better/richer high school experience for students. I really like the Reading Rescue Program as it is easy to administer; all of the steps are clearly explained and the volunteer for the next day can pick up where I leave off. I can see students progressing and that makes it very rewarding for me.
I like volunteering at Beavercrest as there is real satisfaction in contributing to the development of literacy skills, a cause in which I believe passionately. The program provides a welcome opportunity to give of one’s skills and time to the community and, especially, its young people. The Reading Rescue Ontario program provides a structured framework while allowing volunteers to tailor the approach to the needs, preferences and interests of individual students. This program gives me the opportunity to work with some wonderful young people.
Reading Rescue Ontario allows children to work at their own level and get exactly what they need in a one to one setting.
Pauline, Grade 3 teacher
As a retired elementary school teacher with 25 years of experience, I am delighted to be able to volunteer at Beavercrest Community School. I enjoy seeing the progress of the students with whom I am working and see the pride that they exhibit with each new accomplishment. Linda’s program offers many different strategies to strengthen reading skills. These strategies help maintain the child’s interest and reinforce what has already been learned. It is easy to follow the instructions and present each lesson to the child. If one component becomes frustrating, it is easy to change tactics and switch to another part. I am happy to be able to continue to use my teaching skills and remain connected to children. I love to witness their accomplishments.