New take flight instructors

Thirteen teachers in the West Memphis School District recently completed intense training with the Take Flight program, which is a comprehensive intervention/therapy for students that exhibit the characteristics of dyslexia. Interventionists/therapists using this program attend the 2 week training in which they are taught how students with dyslexia best learn, complete extensive reading assignments and teach lessons to demonstrate that they have mastered the material and are ready to provide students with therapy. The participants are required to provide 5 demonstration videos throughout the year that are critiqued by the trainers. Additionally, these educators must attend 5 additional days of training. 

WMSD Literacy and Dyslexia Specialist Christie Wilson said these 13 teachers are in addition to 13 others who went through the program last year. Wilson affirmed, “This newest cohort of teachers to complete the training has allowed all schools in our district to have access to dyslexia screening and therapy.” 

Wilson added, “Take Flight has enabled us to provide dyslexia therapy to every student that exhibits characteristics of dyslexia, no matter the severity of their disability, which is something that we haven’t been successful with in the past. Now, we are seeing the benefits of this program, and we are excited to take it one step further with adding these 13 additional Take Flight practitioners.” 

During the 2021-2022 school year, the original 13 Take Flight practitioners provided dyslexia therapy to 163 students in the district. Each one of those educators logged over 100 hours of therapy throughout the school year. They begin year 2 of Take Flight this year as the new 13 begin year 1. 

“This program is a game changer for so many of our struggling readers,” claimed Wilson.