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Upper Arlington Parents’ Group Crowd Funds Dyslexia Doc

Hope Madden Hope Madden Upper Arlington Parents’ Group Crowd Funds Dyslexia Doc
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Watching your child struggle in school is heartbreaking. Knowing that your school could and should do something to remedy the situation but chooses not to would be beyond frustrating. But creating the needed cultural change in a school system may seem like an insurmountable task.

UA-KID, an Upper Arlington-based parent organization, found a way to accomplish that formidable goal and now wants to help others succeed when their school systems are failing.

Nearly seven years ago, a group of UA parents, all facing the problem of undiagnosed and unremediated children with Dyslexia, joined efforts to work toward change that would finally address their students’ learning needs.

The group banded together to form Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia and filed a formal complaint against UA schools with the Ohio Department of Education. They accused the school district of breaking federal education laws by refusing to test their children for proper identification and remediation of reading challenges.

The ODE found the district guilty of those charges. Since then, the UA school system has implemented a reading and recovery program that Brett Tingly, President of UA-KID, calls very successful.

“What’s happening is really beautiful,” she says. “Not only are they identifying the kids with Dyslexia and getting them remediation with fidelity, but they’re helping all kids to read better.”

Tingly says the group’s success has become widely known and she receives requests from concerned parents all over the country.

Indeed, inspired by UA-KID’s achievement, a parent group in Boulder, Colorado—BV-KID (Boulder Valley Kids Identified with Dyslexia)—implemented the same strategies and found equal success.

The realization that UA-KID could use their experience to affect change across the country led the group to film a documentary.

“I thought, ‘Why not do a documentary and just blow this thing open?’” Tingly says. “A big part of it is to try to ask your district for help and to educate them, and one of the tools that we want to use is this documentary.”

The organization found their writer in Kelli Trinoskey, a parent in the group and Emmy nominee for her documentary Columbus Neighborhood: University District.

“It’s about understanding your rights,” says Trinoskey. “I think we’re going to lay out the process—knowing what to ask for, what to look for and empowering parents through that process.”

“Having a group is really critical,” Tingly continues. “This is emotionally, physically, financially draining. But if you work with a group, there’s a bunch of people who can help. Once you’re engaging with the district, it’s an ongoing effort.”

With Trinoskey on board to write, the group approached local filmmaker Aaron Blevins to direct the documentary, tentatively titled Reading Between the Lines.

According to the film’s crowdfunding page, “This film will walk through the challenges and opportunities of dyslexia, how these parents realized their dyslexic children weren’t being given the proper attention in their district, how they organized for maximum impact, and the step by step journey they took to create the necessary change in their district. This film will be the ultimate blueprint for parents and groups across the nation to help save critical time for their kids by knowing exactly what to do now to achieve maximum local impact for all children.”

To learn more about UA-KID, visit uakid.org. To donate to UA-KID’s fund to film the documentary, visit their kickstarter page.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her podcasts FRIGHT CLUB and THE SCREENING ROOM.

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