School District using unique teaching method


At Danville Primary School, teachers are using a different approach to teaching reading and writing.

"I've taught for thirty years. I've never taught a curriculum as amazing as this."

It's called Orton Gillingham.

Patricia Welliver teaches the method to her Kindergarten students.

"It's all foundation. It's a multi-sensory type of learning, so you're reaching every type of student with every type of learning."

The method began in the 1930s as a way to help students overcome dyslexia.

The district implemented it a few years ago after they realized a nearby Dyslexia Center was experiencing success with the program.

"It's the auditory, the kinesthetic, the visual all at the same time. And it's very repetitive. So, you do things one time, you may remember it for a short period of time. But when you do it over and over and over again, and then apply it, it sticks.">

Stephanie DiDomenico's son is a student in Welliver's class.

She says he had a good understanding of how to read when he began school this year.

"But now he's a great writer. And he's using what he's learning and he's writing, and he's spelling. And it's just creating this foundation for him that I think is just going to put him at a new level as he continues through school."

In addition to classroom learning, the district is in the process of developing an app that students can use at home.

Danville senior Dylan Smith helped create the app, which is for students in third and fourth grades.

"Fourth graders are getting bored with the actual physical paper form. So, with the app in fourth grade they become more interested because it peaks their interest with seeing different colors and being able to draw on electronic object."

The district hopes to release the app to students early next year.

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